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Intrepid Travel Appeals for Emergency Aid To Morocco After Devastating Earthquake

Marrakech Morocco
byLaurie Baratti
onSeptember 9, 2023

Following the devastating earthquake that hit Morocco on September 8, Intrepid Travel announced that it has accounted for the safety of all its staff members, tour leaders and guests currently on tours in the storied North African nation.

The global adventure travel company, which is one of the largest tour operators in Morocco, said it will cancel all upcoming departures scheduled through September 12 in order to ensure local authorities can effectively respond to the immediate disaster.

Affected customers are being contacted and will be able to reschedule their trip or receive a refund. In addition, customers whose trips to Morocco are due to depart between September 13–17 (inclusive) are being given the option to cancel and receive a future booking credit. 

“Safety is always Intrepid’s number one priority – we’re relieved to have been able to account for all our customers and believe cancelling upcoming tour departures is in the best interests of local communities right now,” said Zina Bencheikh, Intrepid’s Managing Director of EMEA, who is herself based in Morocco. “Our thoughts go out to everyone in Morocco who has been affected by this disaster and we will do everything we can, including through the Intrepid Foundation, to support communities as they rebuild."  

When the 6.8-magnitude quake struck on Friday night, Intrepid had approximately 650 customers in the country. However, its tour groups are spread throughout the destination, including regions that were not been severely impacted. According to CNN, the earthquake’s epicenter was in the High Atlas mountain range, not far from the economic hub and tourism hotspot of Marrakech.

Intrepid Foundation Appeals for Emergency Aid

The Melbourne-based tour operator has also launched an emergency Morocco Earthquake Appeal through its not-for-profit arm, the Intrepid Foundation, to support immediate disaster relief efforts on the ground. To make donations go even further, Intrepid has also committed to doubling all donations up to AUD $100,000 (USD $63,844).

One hundred percent of funds raised will be funneled directly to grassroots organizations—including Intrepid’s long-term local NGO partners Education for All and the High Atlas Foundation—that are on the ground working with local communities to provide emergency aid to the thousands of impacted people devastated by this natural disaster.

“The earthquake in Morocco is the most devastating to hit the country in over a century, impacting more than 300,000 lives in the communities surrounding the High Atlas Mountains and beyond," said Biheng Zhang, General Manager of the Intrepid Foundation. "While many of us cannot even begin to understand this level of loss, we can, by supporting this appeal, directly supply those impacted with emergency relief and support.”

“Intrepid was founded on the idea of benefiting both the travelers and the people in the communities we visit. Through this relief effort, we hope to give back to the country that has given so much to our travel community,” said Bencheikh in a statement. “My heart is with Morocco, my home, and one of the most special places in the world.”