Rather than capitalizing on the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic and jacking up prices, many Moroccan hoteliers opened their doors to stranded foreigners for free.
Rabat – The US Embassy in Morocco has taken to social media to express its gratitude to Moroccans for their hospitality during the coronavirus crisis that left hundreds of Americans stranded in the country upon the suspension of international flights.
“The past several days have been unprecedented,” the embassy wrote on Twitter in English and Arabic. “We would like to thank all the Moroccans in Marrakech and across this extraordinary country for the kindness and generosity you have shown and continue to show our citizens.”
The past several days have been unprecedented. We would like say thank all the Moroccans in #Marrakech and across this extraordinary country for the kindness and generosity you have shown and continue to show to our citizens.
— U.S. Embassy Morocco (@USEmbMorocco) March 22, 2020
“I am one of the many stranded Americans still here in Morocco being hosted by a warm, generous, and loving Moroccan family. I am and will forever be indebted to Morocco and its people,” one Twitter user replied to the post, offering a prime example of the hospitality Moroccans have shown foreigners struggling to return home.
“You are welcome. Any foreign people who come to our country are under our responsibility and we should take care of them until they go back home safe and sound,” another Twitter user commented.
Another added, “It’s in times like these that we need to show solidarity.”
When Morocco suspended all international flights until further notice on March 15, thousands of tourists dashed to airports around the country, scrambling to secure a seat on one of the few repatriation flights to Europe.
Rather than capitalizing on the uncertainty and jacking up prices, many Moroccan hoteliers—and even homeowners—opened their doors to stranded foreigners for free.
In the medina of Fez, Riad Arabesque, a five-star hotel, decided to offer free accommodation and meals to all tourists stranded in Morocco’s spiritual capital.
“We had the idea to open our doors for free to tourists as soon as we heard about the cancelation of all international flights,” Jaafar Benamor, the hotel’s manager, told MWN.
Hotel owners and generous locals in Morocco’s Merzouga desert also offered to host tourists free of charge.
“I decided to host tourists stuck in the region due to suspension of international travel,” Moha Ouha, manager at Madu Riad, told MWN. “We are collaborating with the youth of the region working in the tourism sector to offer good accommodation to tourists stuck near us.”
“Generosity and hospitality are part of our Moroccan Amazigh (Berber) culture and traditions.”