Morocco’s tourism ministry is set to implement the program through a roadmap covering the period 2020-2022.
Rabat – The Moroccan Minister of Tourism Nadia Fettah Alaoui announced Thursday the launch of a new program to revive the tourism sector in Morocco.
Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani attended the tourism minister’s presentation before thte government council on July 16.
During the presentation of the project, Alaoui said the program will maintain the continuity of jobs, accelerate the integration of employees in vulnerable situations, and develop products that serve to promote domestic tourism.
Government spokesperson Saaid Amzazi emphasized that the project is set to accelerate the revival of tourism in Morocco and develop programs to promote domestic tourism in partnership with regional and local entities.
He added that the project aims to support the Moroccan economy and preserve jobs in the tourism industry.
Alaoui stressed the participatory character of the program, which concerns Moroccan tourism professionals and the relevant government departments.
As Morocco continues to record a significant number of new COVID-19 cases every day, Alaoui underlined the importance of preventive measures in the tourism sector.
Tourism institutions have adopted practices such as mandatory COVID-19 screening tests for all employees, in coordination with local health authorities.
Morocco’s Ministry of Tourism is set to implement the national tourism revival program through a roadmap covering the period 2020-2022.
COVID-19’s impacts on tourism in Morocco
Morocco’s tourism sector was one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, with tourism sector indicators seeing a sharp decline in the first half of 2020.
On May 5, the tourism minister revealed that the crisis closed 87% of hotels in Morocco.
The number of tourists fell by 45% between January and April compared to the same period in 2019, and the number of overnight stays fell by approximately 43%.
During the first four months of 2020, Morocco’s travel receipts fell from $2.307 billion to $2 billion, a 13% drop. In the month of April, tourism revenues halved to stand at $317 million.
The sharp regression in tourism activity cost thousands of Moroccans’ jobs.
Since the onset of the pandemic in Morocco, the government has adopted several measures to help revive the tourism sector, which represents 11% of the country’s GDP.
The House of Representatives adopted on May 13 Draft Bill 30.20, aiming to support the sector by keeping businesses afloat and guaranteeing consumer rights.
The tourism minister said the bill’s intent is to “help travel agencies, tourism companies, owners of tourist transport and air transport of passengers faced with financial and socio-economic difficulties.”
The Minister of the Interior, Abdelouafi Laftit, has assured that Morocco is prioritizing the revival of tourism with a set of strategic measures. The minister also urged sectoral stakeholders such as hotel representatives to hone in on domestic tourism.
Domestic tourism in Morocco has improved since lockdown restrictions eased on June 25, with national flag carrier Royal Air Maroc celebrating a “historic relaunch” of domestic flights.
Citing high demand, the airline has increased domestic flight frequencies, particularly between Casablanca and the southern cities of Dakhla and Laayoune.