27 Nov 2020
Aoufous, Morocco
Sustainable Tourism

Created in 2001, SODEV is a Moroccan association that works for territorial development and rural tourism through the social economy.

Through its participative approach, SODEV wishes to promote the Human being, to practice networking with the actors present in a territory and to bring about the emergence of “collective intelligence”. It is in this vein that the association is carrying the “Territoire Aoufous” project to develop solidarity tourism, enhance the value of oasis products and enable local populations to benefit from income linked to tourism activities.

The fruit of a local will.

If the SODEV association was born from the will of a group of friends wishing to develop their country and accompany its population in development projects, the Aoufous project was born from the desire of the local population to develop its territory. In the Ziz valley, the inhabitants of Aoufous are aware of the beauty of their oasis and the capacity of tourism to contribute to the local economy. This community had already built lodgings, campsites and set up women’s cooperatives to promote local products. SODEV helped consolidate this territorial dynamic by strengthening the capacity of local stakeholders and enabling everyone to get involved locally.

Collective intelligence at the service of the Aoufous project.

The solidarity tourism project in the Aoufous territory aims to develop the rural and oasis territory. To achieve this objective, SODEV has developed an innovative methodology: the implementation of a collective reflection and joint work towards the achievement of a common vision for the needs and future of the territory.

Consultation meetings, exchanges with the local population, training for tourism stakeholders and the creation of tools to promote the territory are all actions that have helped to motivate the inhabitants to continue in a solidary, responsible and concerted tourism.

The local population, at the center of the project

In keeping with SODEV’s philosophy, the local population is at the heart of this project. All the actions undertaken are in the interest of the local community, so staying in Aoufous also means participating in the development and empowerment of the population.

The Aoufous project is dependent on the protection of biodiversity.

Aoufous is a green setting in the middle of the desert, an oasis that SODEV and the population wish to protect, notably to allow for sustainable tourism development. This project has enabled each inhabitant to become aware of his or her role in the area, for example through awareness-raising activities among young people. SODEV also supports the protection of the environment by encouraging collective reflection between residents, institutions and students on the collection and sorting of waste.

Through this project carried by the association and the implementation of a charter “Acting responsibly in the Mediterranean through the development of solidarity tourism”, SODEV demonstrates that collective intelligence in the service of sustainable tourism is possible.

"Alone we go faster, together we go further" is the dynamic in which SODEV has always been committed.

SODEV wishes to be even more involved as an actor of change that brings alternative visions for better social cohesion.

Solidarity tourism is a means for the rural population to develop their territory together for a sustainable change in society.

Noureddine EL HARRAK, Director of SODEV
Develop solidarity tourism in rural areas through collective reflection. | The Switchers
SODEV Sustainable