The latest discussion focused on Moroccans’ spending, saving, and the implications consumer habits may have on local products and services after the COVID-19 pandemic eases.
Rabat – In its second Facebook live stream on Saturday, June 6, Morocco World News (MWN) invited two special guests to discuss the potential impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on Moroccans’ saving and spending habits and consumption patterns.
Joining the conversation were Lachen Haddad, former minister of tourism and current member of Parliament, and geopolitics and geoeconomics specialist Professor Nabil Adel.
MWN Moderator Asmae Habchaoui began the discussion by touching on the uncertainty afflicting Moroccans whose financial stability has evaporated amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Adel, who serves as a special adviser to the speaker of Morocco’s House of Representatives and a consultant in strategy and finance, predicted the pandemic will trigger a change in the financial saving behavior of Moroccan households.
“For the first time at least in two or three generations, people are thinking about survival,” Adel said. “Satisfying needs or wants is the motor of consumption, but when you move from projecting yourself into the future to a survival state, consumption habits change with [that shift].”
The two experts went on to deliberate whether Moroccans will turn to local products or foreign imports to meet their needs, and if domestic goods will become more competitive in the marketplace. The participants also considered Morocco’s shift towards digitalization and how this may steer Moroccans towards e-commerce and online purchases.
In terms of long-term shifts in spending, however, Adel believes it will take time — approximately 21 days, according to studies on the matter — for tangible changes in consumption habits to take hold.
Exploring the outlook for Moroccan tourism
Transitioning to tourism, MWN asked Haddad, who is a board member of the Parliamentary Network of the World Bank and IMF, about his predictions for the future of domestic tourism.
“We need to provide [Moroccans] with a product that meets their expectations,” the former tourism minister said, pointing out that Moroccans often spend more money on vacations in the country than tourists as they lack access to money-saving tour operators.
“We need to have some sort of platform in Morocco that caters to Moroccan needs,” Haddad said.
“Why do Moroccans go, for example, to places like Spain? They prefer to go somewhere they are free in their own social behaviors as vacationers,” he continued. “In Morocco, as Moroccans, they feel some sort of social pressure.”
The two participants then discussed Moroccans’ post-pandemic purchasing power and the future of overseas travel.
The MWN moderator opened the discussion up to the audience, inviting the Facebook live watchers to raise their questions and concerns to Haddad and Adel.
MWN is set to host live-stream discussions every week on our Facebook page to glean insight from a diverse array of guest speakers and share analyses of relevant topics with our audience.
Tune in this Wednesday, June 10, for a discussion of police brutality and racism in light of the ongoing US protests.