HomeEconomySave the tourism sector by opening the borders! A wishful thinking?

Save the tourism sector by opening the borders! A wishful thinking?

Since November 2021, Moroccan borders have been closed. A decision justified by the devastation of the youngest of Dame Covid Omicron in this case, a kid who makes the whole world tremble. Also, the famous measure that some tourism professionals are waiting to be lifted is in the pure Norman tone of “maybe yes, maybe no” and it is therefore not sure that on January 31, 2022…

Moreover, in this regard, questioned on the question, this Monday in the House of Representatives, the warning of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans residing abroad, Nasser Bourita, is, figures to support, could not be clearer. He reminded the audience that “ close 3,000 cases were recorded on Monday, 97 died in January one week from its end and some 600 people were admitted to intensive care“. The MAE claimed that the borders, due to the spread of the Omicron variant, must be reopened “ in conditions of safety for all with regard to the reality of the epidemiological situation which prevails in the Kingdom .It is important to open the borders, but it is also important to take into consideration these conditions“. This shows the embarrassment in which the Executive finds itself regarding this situation, which has terrible consequences for tourism.

To illustrate this situation, there is no better than Marrakech, the city of tourism par excellence (48% of the accommodation capacity at the national level). According to the Association of hoteliers in the city, of the 250 establishments in Marrakech, more than 110 hotels are currently closed. The association also adds thathotels and ryads closed permanently, or during the week to open only on weekends », in order to prolong their lives and hope not to fall into the common grave of time, or as that good G. Brassens would have said, to close for burial. The situation is the same for travel agencies, tourist transport, restaurants, guides, museums, crafts, the informal sector which usually lives around this tourism today in agony, etc. At the national level it is even worse and the receipts and transfers of money on both sides easily carry the zero as well in 2020 as in 2021quant 2022 “Moulana y chouf”. Moreover, the emergency plan planned to save Moroccan tourism is causing controversy. Some consider that the envelope dedicated to support remains below expectations. Others regret that many tourism professions are excluded from the vision. A decision that beyond the health aspect has caused a stir in the tourism sector.

Always with a tourist activity put on hold to take only the dashboard of the ocher city and city of reference, the rise in unemployment does not encounter any barrier to its aerobatics, and records record after record. We complained about the 5.2% recorded in 2019, but what about the second quarter of 2021 where the percentage exploded to oscillate between 8.7% and 9%? thesector at the national level has lost 80 billion dirhams in revenue in 2 years.For 2020, the portal of the Ministry of Tourism, Crafts and the Social and Solidarity Economy tells us, ‘Arrivals at border posts experienced a drastic drop of -79% in 2020 compared to 2019 with 2.8 million non-resident tourists. Overnight stays recorded at classified accommodation establishments followed the same trend, going from 25.2 million in 2019 to 7 million in 2020, i.e. a decline of -72% between the two years. At the same time, travel receipts for 2020 amounted to 36.4 billion dirhams, recording a loss of -54% compared to those of 2019.‘.

It’s a whole world that is collapsing and to say that the tourism sector is dying in Morocco, is a very good truism. Now for those disappointed by the extension of the closure, and who are waiting with all their soul for the reopening,looking for lice on anyone other than Lady Covid is a step not to be taken. The Moroccan Executive is under pressure and beyond the criticisms it receives, it is caught in the crossfire a bit like the tailor of the saying ‘think about it a hundred times before the chisel’. It’s difficult for everyone, but if there is an emergency right now it’s to save the ‘Tourism’ soldier. And it is not with the monthly aid of 2,000 dhs from the emergency plan applied to a few employees that we will change much. The operators of this sector in difficulty, oh sweet euphemism, are calling for a real Marshall plan to rebuild a tourist site collapsed by the loss of more than 10 million tourists in 2020 and the same in 2021, which to do all round is equivalent to 80%. But who said that travel trains youth?




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