The discovery of a case of the Omicron variant in Casablanca buries Moroccan tourism, already hard hit by the health crisis since the appearance of the coronavirus in early 2020.
Workers in the tourism sector fear a “ cardiac arrest “, which now threatens their domain and their income since the borders were closed due to the rapid spread of the new variant whose name makes more than one tremble.
And the discovery of a first case of Omicron in addition to the closure of borders has dampened the hopes of tourism operators in Morocco at the end of the year.
For this end-of-year holiday period, with Christmas and the New Year, tourist operators hoped to end their year on a high note, especially because Morocco is a popular destination to spend these holidays among tourists. foreigners, and Marrakech is one of their favorite destinations.
Mustafa Baitas, Minister Delegate to the Prime Minister responsible for relations with Parliament, official government spokesperson, said that “The government will work to provide support to professionals in the tourism sector”, noting that “the government places the health of citizens among its priorities”.
While the hopes of professionals were based on the end of the year celebrations to reduce the losses that the sector suffered two years ago, Lahcen Haddad, former Minister of Tourism, points out that “The sector is experiencing paralysis”.
“Moroccan professionals will suffer the consequences of the government’s decision to close the air borders due to the emergence of the Omicron affair in Morocco”, he said, noting that “The closures will concern tourist transport, guides, hotels and resorts”.
Same story with Lahcen Zelmat, President of the National Federation of the Hotel Industry, contacted by MoroccoLatestNews FR, who regrets the closure of many hotels.
“With the closing of the borders, many hotels are forced to close for lack of customers, while others suffer from numerous cancellations, not only from foreigners due to the suspension of flights, but also from Moroccans who fear a tightening of sanitary measures “, he emphasizes.
The tourism sector in Morocco suffered a severe blow with the emergence of the new mutation, with professionals relying on end-of-year bookings and birthdays to compensate for what could be saved from a blank year.
During the past year, the authorities have banned hotels from all activities and receptions, including musical entertainment throughout the day, in order to avoid any new wave of contamination.
The number of tourists in the Kingdom did not exceed 2.8 million in 2020. This represents a decrease of minus 78.5% compared to 2019.