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July 15, 2020  

Zahi, Tour Guide Business Owner in Fes, Morocco

July 15, 2020

Like many of us, Zahi is an accomplished entrepreneur and small business owner with a background in a completely different field. Zahi began working in healthcare, but his insight and vision led him to be the first guide on Airbnb Experiences in Morocco

Born and raised in Fez, Zahi is excited to meet new people from other countries. His career as a tour guide provides a platform for him to engage in an interchange of cultures and traditions with people from all over the world. Zahi walks visitors through a path of time to discover the hidden secrets of Fez and its inspiring culture, food, locals, lifestyle, artisanal handicrafts, and beyond.

In this episode, Zahi prepares you for your future visit as you walk over 60km (37mi) in his shoes. Fall into the city of Fez, Morocco, a city more than 1200 years old with over 9000 small streets crafted into a historical maze. See the artisans and children weave in and out of their compassionate city while the aroma of argan oil fills the air. 

Additionally, Zahi provides a history of how he was an integral part of Airbnb Experience beginning in Fez. Zahi also addresses the challenges of becoming an official tour guide and finding customers. Further, he expands and compares the compensation of tour guides to other occupations in Fez. Seeing the Moroccan economy through Zahi’s eyes paints a comprehensive picture of why the struggle to find customers is worth every effort. 

Later, catch the inside story of how COVID-19 has affected the Moroccan economy, the tourism industry, and Zahi’s business. Zahi explains the Moroccon Government’s response and how the tourism industry has been affected. Learn how Zahi’s flexibility in using his education rooted in technology is opening up new opportunities for him to explore dropshipping and exporting Moroccon treasures. Yet, Zahi also tells the heart-rending story of how many of his colleagues are struggling to replace their income. 

Each story that Zahi tells breathes to life into the resilience and kindness of the people of Fez. Listen in as Zahi describes Fez as the quintessential destination of exploration and historical secrets. As Zahi speaks, imagine the maze of the Medina and the generous spirit of the people. 

Stay tuned as Zahi describes the Moroccan philosophy and how it molds their spirit to motivate them as they come to the aid of anyone without being asked. 

 

In this Episode:

  • Beginnings of Airbnb in Morocco (1:43)
  • Zahi’s walking tours schedule  (2:32)
  • Fez’s economy (4:00)
  • The Medina and the streets of Fes (5:05)
  • Zahi’s background and beginnings in becoming an official tour guide (6:23)
  • Zahi’s quest for customers (11:04)
  • Occupations and salaries in Fez (13:35)
  • Morocco’s approach to dealing with the COVID-19 Pandemic (16:22)
  • How Zahi’s is overcoming business challenges during COVID-19 (23:27)
  • What to expect on holiday in Fez (28:33)
  • The people and the philosophy in Morocco (32:15)  

 

Quotes: 

  • “The oldest city in the world is presented with the most modern opportunity.”
  • “They are just tour guides, they don’t have this thinking to find another option to live.”
  • “We have a very old story.”
  • “Here in Morocco, you can find everything.”
  • “You don’t give tea to people, you offer happiness.”

 

Links Mentioned: 

Zahi’s Airbnb Experience - Fès 

See how Moroccon Oil has affected the beauty industry in Episode #0008 

Zahi talks COVID-19 in Morocco - also hear Jeremy Jacobs in episode #0009 talk COVID-19 and business in the UK

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Podcast production provided by FIRESIDE