After two years of unprecedented health and economic crisis caused by Covid-19, the tourist sector is finally regaining its former glory in Marrakech where national and foreign tourists are once again investing in different spaces and alleys of this thousand-year-old city, drawing the smile on the faces of the professionals, giving them hope for better days.
The revival of the tourism sector has, in fact, begun to be confirmed since last February, just after the long-awaited reopening of the Kingdom’s airspace, and the easing of measures for entering the national territory. A trend further amplified with the launch of Operation “Marhaba 2022”, allowing the return of Moroccans residing abroad (MRE) to the motherland.
Despite an uncertain global context (persistence of the pandemic crisis and the situation in Ukraine), the craze for hotel units and tourist residences in Marrakech recorded, during the month of May, an occupancy rate average of 62% (hotels and residences), a level almost similar to that of May 2019, according to official data from the Regional Association of the Hotel Industry of Marrakech-Safi (ARIH-MS).
“In tourist accommodation establishments, we recorded an average occupancy rate of 62% for the month of May, a slight increase compared to the rate recorded during the same month of 2019, a reference year before the health crisis. , with a global growth of 10%”explained the Secretary General of the ARIH-MS, Mustapha Amalik.
A recovery which was consolidated last June, with an occupancy rate of 60%, which is more or less identical to the year 2019. It is a “recovery and a recovery which are gradually being confirmed”, he said with satisfaction.
In the opinion of this professional, one of the key factors behind this resumption of tourist activity remains the reopening of borders. “International tourism depends on the air and we have, in fact, witnessed a rescheduling of flights by the airlines and consequently, an air reconnection with the source markets of tourists”he explained.
The other factor justifying this revival of the tourism sector is attributable to the decision “long-awaited” of the government to ease the conditions for entering the national territory, in particular the abolition of the PCR test, he continued.
“After this very important announcement, we noticed a sustained influx towards our destination, which allowed us to recover the market share that we had lost during the border closures”underlined Mustapha Amalik.
Without forgetting the resumption of the “Marhba” operation since last June and the return of Moroccans from around the world to their motherland. “The 2022 edition of Operation Marhba will contribute to the performance of the summer season coinciding with the Aid Al Adha holiday”he said in a tone of optimism.
This is an upturn that is delighting professionals in the sector, who are jubilant at the return of tourists to the number one destination for national tourism, especially with the promotion of new tourist-generating markets, in this case: China. , the United States and Israel.
“The traditional markets, led by the French, Spanish, English and German markets, are very important and we must obviously maintain them and develop them further, but we must at the same time target other markets relating to the medium and long-term. couriers, which is the case of the rapidly growing Israeli market”underlined the Secretary General of the ARIH-MS.
There is also the American market that Morocco is working to develop, he noted, welcoming, in passing, the appointment by the Moroccan National Tourist Office (ONMT) of a delegate from the Office in New York. , “which will certainly allow us to ensure continuous promotion of Morocco as a destination in this very important market”.
While recalling that the Chinese market, before the health crisis, “started in good shape after the abolition of the visa, registering a growth of more than 300%”this professional did not fail to estimate that it is indeed a market “who will see his return”.
In this sense, Mustapha Amalik called for targeting other markets, in particular the Latin American market (Brazil, Mexico, etc.).
Concerning the domestic market, he made a point of recalling that it represents almost 30% of tourist activity, welcoming his considerable contribution to the efforts aimed at reviving the tourist sector.
“When the borders were closed, nationals largely contributed to the revival of the tourist sector by responding to the offers offered by hoteliers who spared no effort to adapt to this very important market”he welcomed.
The recovery is then confirmed and the major communication campaign conducted vigorously by the ONMT internationally should accelerate the pace.
In the ocher city, a flagship destination for tourism, several tourist and accommodation establishments are already full. The season is already looking promising.