Tourism in Morocco: Billions of Dirhams of Estimated Losses

As a result of the health crisis caused by the new Coronavirus, which is hitting the whole world, the tourism sector and all the activities that shape its value chain, i.e. hotels, restaurants, travel agencies and distribution networks, ground transportation and car rentals, events and all related professions, have been severely affected by this crisis.

According to the National Confederation of Tourism (CNT), the sector could suffer a drop of up to 39% in the number of tourists, with losses estimated at billions of DH.

In terms of figures, it concerns 3,500 tourist accommodation companies, 500 tourist catering companies, 1,450 travel agencies, 1,500 tourist transport companies and 1,500 car rental companies.

Following the suspension of all the international flights of Royal Air Maroc (RAM), until further notice, the Economic Watch Committee (CVE) has put in place a series of measures to protect a maximum of tourist jobs and to assist the companies operating in the sector.

Morocco has also made efforts to facilitate the repatriation of several thousands of foreign tourists stranded in the Kingdom to their respective countries, by authorizing nearly a hundred special flights.

In addition, the CNT has introduced numerous measures to support companies in the sector to overcome the economic impact of the Coronavirus, mainly through the postponement or elimination of social charges (CNSS and CIMR), but also tax relief (IR, IS and VAT), for the entire period of the crisis.

There is also talk of postponing bank maturities by 12 months, maintaining credit lines and opening lines of borrowings over 12 months with a reduction in interest rates to 2% over this period.

In this sense, the CNT chairman had indicated that the tourism sector could be losing up to 34 billion dirhams (3.38 billion USD) in terms of revenues by the end of the year, adding that the hotel sector alone is likely to register a deficit of 15 billion (1.5 billion USD).

For his part, the president of the Hotel Industry Association of Casablanca-Settat Region (AIH), said on April 13 that up to 90% of hotels have closed their doors in the Casablanca-Settat region.

Faced with this situation, a monitoring unit has been created jointly with the Regional Tourism Council (CRT), with the aim of sensitizing all the hotels to contribute with rooms in favor of the nursing staff according to the human and logistic means available.

As regards to the situation of the employees of the hotel sector, the President of the AIH had pointed out that the majority of the hotels took responsibility for the first fifteen days of March, proceeding with the formula of the National Social Security Fund (CNSS) to make their employees benefit from the MAD 1,000 (99.5 USD) over the remaining fifteen days in accordance with the decisions of the CVE and from the MAD 2,000 (199 USD) over the next three months.

On April 20, the Foreign Exchange Office decided to grant an exceptional tourist fund to Moroccans stranded abroad, following the closure of air, sea and land links aimed at limiting the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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