Morocco’s 6.8 magnitude earthquake has devastated the nation, taking 2,862 lives, injuring over 2,500 people and rendering infrastructure around the country obsolete, according to CBS.
Following the disaster, the industry has sprung into action with an array of actions and initiatives aimed to help locals and tourists in the region.
Leading the charge is Intrepid Travel, with its emergency appeal that has already raised over $230k since it went live at 4pm on Sunday afternoon and has another $100k coming from the wholesaler itself.
Brett Mitchell, the managing director of Intrepid ANZ, said that local communities in the Atlas Mountains, the source of the earthquake, are in dire need of help.
“We’re hearing this directly from our team in Morocco so have hustled quickly over the weekend and The Intrepid Foundation has launched an emergency appeal to raise funds for our local partners in the region – Education for All and the High Atlas Foundation,” Mitchell said.
“All funds raised will go directly to these organisations.”
Mitchell said that Morocco is Intrepid’s largest destination, alongside Vietnam. The wholesaler had 60 groups on the ground at the time of the earthquake, carrying more than 600 customers. All of those customers and Intrepid’s office-based team in Marrakech of 77, plus all tour leaders, are accounted for.
However, some Intrepid staff members have lost relatives and Education for All – Intrepid Foundation’s partner – has lost a student and some others are still missing.
Regarding Intrepid’s customers on the ground, only 10 have chosen to leave the country with all other customers remaining on trips. Mitchell said that large parts of the country are operating as normal – Casablanca, Rabat, Fes, Meknes, the Sahara Desert – and source market travel advisories have not changed with Marrakech airport is open.
The High Atlas Mountains and old town Marrakech are the main areas affected which Intrepid’s trips visit. Mitchell said his company is re-routing all itineraries away from these areas, not visiting the Atlas area, and spending less time in Marrakech, enabling customers to still travel and support local communities.
Donate to Intrepid’s emergency appeal here.
(Featured Image: Morocco Earthquake – Twitter/@Muslim)