Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Fez Festival: the impact on the city

One of the most frequently asked questions by visiting journalists is "what is the impact on commerce in the Medina of the Fez World Sacred Music Festival?". So, to get an answer, The View from Fez team went out and about, talking with local shop owners.

Juicy business booming

What was interesting was that the food and drink outlets all reported that they have been doing extraordinary business. The owner of a small fresh orange juice stand told us that on a normal week day he sells the juice from a single crate of oranges. However, this week he has been selling four to five crates a day. He is a very happy individual !

Foq Figuig !

Up in Serrajine, business is also booming. Si Mohammed (pictured above) has been selling almost double the quantities of mlaoui and b'ghir. Waraka seller, Lalla Aycha (pictured below), is also very happy as all the top restaurants are selling a lot of b'stilla and hence the restaurants are purchasing greater amounts.

Ab'ella, Lalla Aycha and Si Mohammed

Some of the real winners are the local riad and guest house owners. Both ends of the market - budget through to luxury - report that they are booked to capacity. Further into the Medina the response to our question is a little more reserved.

Babouche sales are good!

While many shops say business is good, a few told us that "the tourists are here for the music, not for the shopping." The overall mood, however, is optimistic, "towards the end of the festival the visitors will be rushing to do last minute shopping." A sentiment that had everyone saying "inshallah!"

To see all the Fez Festival 2010 stories on The View from Fez, click HERE!

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