Abstract : In Southern countries, foreign tourists are often blamed for the breakdown of local social structures. This research, grounded in social geography, questions the territorialities associated with tourism by focusing on the relations to others in the case of French tourism in Marrakesh. A theoretical framework revolving around the concepts of representation, the imaginary, practices and customs was developed and led to the conclusion that territorial appropriation starts long before the decision to go on holiday. Indeed, French people's representations of Marrakesh – commonly made up of stereotypes at odds with the local community – proceed from exoticism and orientalism, two notions which arose from the discovery of other worlds at a time when tourism was emerging and which were then perpetuated by museums, school books, and the media. Territorial appropriation is also determined by the tour operators' development strategies. The recreational facilities that were built foster a proliferation of activities generating a spurious experience of the town and its inhabitants, in the context of short stays. The typology developed through this territorial approach allows for breaking down the city into three types of areas: exclusive, mixed, and inclusive. Observation reveals that the recreational facilities associated with touristic strategies do not help bridge the differences between the tourists and the locals; on the contrary, they intensify perceptions of a social gap and exacerbate the locals' sense of unfairness. This research therefore ponders the means to improve mutual understanding.