In Morocco, thousands of families are impatient to see their children and their grandchildren living abroad again, after more than a half year of absence. In fact, 2020 has been an exceptional year with the Covid-19 pandemic which followed the closure of borders. But the exceptional device launched by Morocco to facilitate the return of MRE, on high royal instructions, will allow them to finally reach the motherland.
For its Marhaba 2021 operation, Morocco this year excluded Spanish ports due to diplomatic disputes, instead favoring the ports of France and Italy. A decision which was of great delicacy especially for the MRE from Spain to whom the price of the crossing to Morocco will cost 2 or 3 times more than usual. For the MRE of France, moreover, the plane tickets have exploded them. Also, several Moroccans in Europe have expressed their refusal to return to the country under these conditions.
In this sense, King Mohammed VI ordered all stakeholders in the field of air transport, in particular the RAM and the various stakeholders in maritime transport, to ensure that they practice reasonable prices that are within everyone’s reach, as well as ensuring a sufficient number of rotations, in order to allow Moroccan families abroad to return to the country.
RAM prices dropped suddenly after this royal initiative. Thus, from all the European destinations (excluding Russia and Turkey) of the RAM, a return ticket is offered at 97 euros including tax (all tax included) per passenger for a family made up of four or more members. Likewise, the price is programmed at 120 euros including tax for a return trip for the passenger traveling with a family of three people, while for the passenger traveling alone or in the company of another person, the unit price is 150 euros including tax. (round trip) when the price offered a few days ago was 500 euros for the same destination.
Joined by MoroccoLatestNews, Omar Kettani, professor of economics at Mohammed V University in Rabat, applauded the important measures taken by Morocco to facilitate the return of MREs to the fold, noting that Morocco seeks to save the second summer season in the midst of the health crisis due to Covid-19, since the 2020 summer season was completely missed with the restrictive measures taken to limit the spread of the virus, but also by European countries.
” External tourism will certainly be impacted this year. There remain the MRE that we can always recover. And there are almost 3 million MRE who return to the motherland every year in summer. This follows a huge injection of liquidity and currency. It will revive tourism, it will make all the logistics related to the tourism sector work (taxi, train, coaches, cafe, restaurant, etc.). And then, foreign currency reserves fell in Morocco, from 7 to 4 months. This arrival of MRE will make it possible to renew these reserves. At the same time, we will penalize Spain at the same time“, He tells us.
Perhaps at the level of Moroccans who prefer to spend their holidays in Spain, there will be a decrease, estimates the economist, noting that this will allow us to save a little in terms of currency outflows and this measure taken by the Morocco remains very important and well calculated.
” It is true that many MRE would go home by car since they are more comfortable. But this context of rising prices for the crossing from France or Italy to Morocco will encourage them to opt for the plane with the lower prices. This will encourage, among other things, car rental in Morocco and therefore allow rental agencies to resume their activity. “, Advances the economist who believes that the shortfall remains much greater than the losses.
MRE consume less in Morocco in the face of exorbitant consumer prices
Generally, we observe that the MRE do not consume a lot in Morocco in comparison with foreign tourists. Asked why and how, Prof. Kettani explains to us that the latter are first used to returning by car to Morocco, and suddenly stock up on a lot of basic products on promotion in supermarkets in their country of residence, given that they find the prices of the same products too high in Morocco.
” In France or Belgium for example, there are permanent promotions on essential products in supermarkets. The MRE therefore bring with them everything they need (soap, shampoo, food products, etc.). And you can’t blame them for that because they have already done a price comparison and find that it would cost them a lot less if they bring with them everything they need. In addition, most of these MRE have dependents in Morocco. So it’s not always easy for them “, He analyzes.
Hotel and rental prices still so high
By Royal order, the state and stakeholders in the fields of air transport have done their part to facilitate the access of MRE to Morocco under better conditions. But tourist operators, for their part, are not playing the game by lowering their prices, which all Moroccans find exorbitant. Moreover, the latter prefer to spend their holidays abroad instead of Morocco since it costs them two or three times less. Still, staying in a beautiful hotel in Morocco, with your family, is not cheap.
Indeed, in Morocco, the prices of tourist establishments exploded well before the pandemic and are today if not more. Beside, the wages of Moroccans have not moved to support precisely this increase in prices in everything they consume, not only in the tourism sector. According to Omar Kettani, it is the role of the Ministry of Tourism to ask tourism operators, in particular the owners of hotels and tourist establishments, to review their prices downwards.
” This is where the Ministry of Tourism needs to step in instead of remaining silent. Because indeed the prices are not normal especially for a father who takes care of all the expenses of his household and wants to benefit his family during the summer. We will have to play at the level of information to note the hotels that have lowered the prices. In order for them to align with reasonable prices, you need advertising. We must list the names of hotels or tourist establishments by city that have agreed to lower their prices for the summer period and give them some promotion.“, Considers the economist.
And that’s how we can put pressure on establishments whose increase is not justified, he notes. ” We will have to set up a label for hotels that have agreed to lower their rates by 15 or 20% for overnight stays and catering. In a spirit of solidarity, we must adopt this language to save the 2021 tourist season and recover the MRE and foreign tourists. We need a general mobilization. Tourism operators have certainly gone through a difficult period, but today they have the opportunity to catch up. They can have a high occupancy rate provided they offer reasonable prices within the reach of the social class they are targeting.“, Concludes Omar Kettani.