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In recent times the imperial city of Fez has been overlooked by tourists in favor of Marrakech, but now Morocco's "spiritual" capital is bustling with visitors due to major renovations and low-cost flights.Since 2013, more than one billion dirhams ($103 million) of investment have been poured into Fez to restore the 9th-century walled medina and develop tourism.Behind the high crenelated walls that surround the medina lie 9,000 historical houses, 11 madrassas, 83 mausoleums, 176 mosques and 1,200 handicraft workshops.According to Fouad Serrhini, head of the Agency of Development and Restoration tasked with rehabilitating the medina, "thousands" of buildings and monuments have been saved from ruin since 2013 .In all, 4,000 buildings were saved between 2013 and 2018, while 27 monuments were restored.Abdel-Rahim Belkhayat, head of a regional body of artisans, said the influx of visitors to Fez "benefits" craftsmen, noting that three quarters of the medina's residents earn a living directly or indirectly from the tourism sector.
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