Tourists turning up in Chefchaouen, a small city in Northern Morocco drenched in blue walls are usually hoping for a perfect selfie when posing for the camera. Whether because of the genuine admiration for this quaint town and the azure blue streets, or because the whole design fits perfectly into Instagram and social networks, this city has become best known for Instagram pictures. Perhaps, if it were not for selfie-mania, this city would not be interesting in this way and visited in such numbers. It would be interesting, of course, but with a different echo and vibe of visitors. Everyone who is able, come here, make selfies and hang it on some social network. Nevertheless, the photogenic Chefchaouen esteemed travel guide Fodor’s is beginning to fear for its future, revealing the off-beaten-track destination has been ruined by Selfie-Seekers (Instagrammers). Presently, with over 620,000 posts on Instagram, the Instagram Chefchaouen popularity doesn’t appear to be slowing down. Bloggers, backpackers, and influencers keep swarming on the Moroccan city on a daily basis to take shots at its attractive blue stairs.
Built-in 1471 and home to more than 42,700 people – Chefchaouen also called Chaouen has been dubbed as one of the country’s most photographed cities. Now, the digital generation has witnessed the number soaring higher.
Chefchaouen’s bright blue hues have over time earned the nickname ‘blue pearl and its colorful stairs make it a perfect Instagram studio. It’s also believed the Jewish refugees painted the walls blue upon arrival in Morocco in 1930 as a symbol of both sky and heaven.
Others claim the blue colour can be dated back to the 15th century, when the Jews lived alongside local Moroccans and Moriscos, resulted in painting the buildings as a nod to celestial powers representing peace and safety.
While travel Publisher Fodor has, however, added Chefchaouen to the list of places ruined by Instagrammers, local tourists responded saying the enhanced interest has seen the city thrive well. An inhabitant of the Medina – Chefchaouen’s old city – revealed the enhanced interest has changed his house into a museum and charges tourist 5 Dirhams for entry.
‘All these people come and put photos of my house on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. it’s so famous now. I have been able to fix my home and to have a business because of it.’ the inhabitant revealed.