For many foreign or local travelers, the note from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC) to extend the suspension of flights direct from passengers to and from the country “Until December 31 minimum”, sounds like a death knell. La precise DGACe, since we are there, that exceptional repatriation flights were still subject to authorization or appreciation Moroccan authorities.
This simply means that for the 2021 end-of-year holidays in Morocco, it will be necessary to come back. The same goes for the locals eyeing the international, just to escape touristically at the end of an exercise that we will not remember much. But not only ! since foreigners residing in Morocco and Moroccans residing abroad are equally concerned. For boat enthusiasts, it’s kif-kif, passenger maritime links are also suspended until New Year’s Eve on Friday December 31.
In short, tourism takes its place. It must be said that the air borders of the kingdom have been closed since November 29, 2021 and this, due to the rapid spread of the latest addition to Lady Covid, Omicron in this case and also the resurgence of the pandemic in Europe.
To look good, the executive has come forward to say that it is “studying” the repatriation of Moroccans stranded abroad since the air borders were closed. It was there, the “Hugh I said” of the Minister of Health, Khalid Aït Taleb, during a press briefing, that, moreover, he did not want to detail too much as regards the procedure. Yet on the side of the health department, we keep repeating that the epidemiological situation has stabilized, with low transmission of the virus for five weeks.
But we are also told, that despite this good note, these restrictive measures were decided ” in order to preserve Morocco’s achievements in the fight against the pandemic From Dame Covid. However, for the lambda, there is still a problem with this nuance that many compatriots do not fully understand, in the eyes of dying sectors such as tourism. Once flourishing, the latter has been begging for survival for two years now.
Professionals do not cease, moreover, to alarm about the devastating and even fatal impact of the closing of borders on this vital sector for the economy of the Kingdom. In vain because, he is no ear to this tourism living its last breaths and worse, the executive believing to do well, deprives him with his defending body, of a breath of oxygen which could have kept him alive, by this end of the year and especially which would have allowed him to see it coming.
In the chapter of first aid, even if it brings balm to the heart, the Draft decree n ° 2.21.966 implementing decree-law 2.20.605 of 26 moharrem 1142 (September 15, 2020) adopted by the CS yesterday, to which by right of categories of workers in the tourist sector, it is not an end in itself or the appropriate solution to save the soldier “tourism”.
In other words and for the chinoiserie, we feed the fisherman instead of teaching him to fish. The National Confederation of Tourism (CNT) in Morocco predicted a loss of the small billion dirhams (100 million USD) just for the only week of the two end-of-year celebrations (Christmas and Saint Silvestre), following the closure of air and sea borders of the Kingdom. Knowing in this that the year has fifty-two, that this sector has lost on its way “between 20% and 30% of the 548,000 direct jobs that it had, that it favors 6.8% of the gross domestic product ( GDP), that the occupancy rate for hotels fluctuates between 15 and 30% at the best of times or months, that tourist transport is almost at a standstill, and that 80% of travel agencies have locked up, you are ignored of the rest, catering, informal …, we can say without fear and without reproach that these restrictive measures push into bankruptcy, a sector which once in a good year, brewed more than 80 billion dirhams thanks to these fourteen million tourists.
Today, in the wrong year, he left almost two-thirds of his income in the care of Dame Covid, only earning a little more than a third or around 29 billion dirhams.
So much for one of the vital sectors that supposedly supports the Moroccan economy. Also, it is difficult to understand this decision to extend the closure of borders which is presented as one of the most costly measures for the national economy due to the economic recession in tourism activities which results from it.
This industry, more than ever, is in need of a careful review and in all its components, in order to initiate a suitable recovery and the reactivation it deserves to even reduce the impacts of Dame Covid. and from there, a beneficial stimulus.