Tourism and New Year’s Eve Celebrations: Hopes Are Fading!

A winter to forget! This is the situation of employees in the tourism sector who have lost all hope of a real recovery during the end of the year celebrations, which under normal conditions is a high season.

Tourism professionals are making efforts to revive their activity in the fight against the Coronavirus crisis. A crisis that has imposed a reinforcement of the state of health emergency measures and the return to strict preventive measures as of December 23rd, from 9 p.m. onwards.

These measures include, especially, the closure of restaurants, cafes, stores and supermarkets at 20h, a daily curfew at the national level from 21h to 6h, except in cases of emergency, the prohibition of public and private parties and gatherings, the complete closure of restaurants for 3 weeks, in Casablanca, Marrakech, Agadir and Tangier. These measures are constraints facing the tourism sector, since professionals have launched tourism programs in these cities which are the favorites of Moroccan and foreign tourists.

Faouzi Zemrani, Vice-President General of the National Confederation of Tourism (CNT), said in this regard: “Unfortunately, with the return of the Covid-19 outbreaks in the tourist markets and the restrictions on mobility in the Kingdom, tourism professionals are disappointed.”

He added that these professionals had a lot of hope at the end of this year, for which they have prepared themselves. In particular, they have prepared themselves with regard to the adequate sanitary measures to welcome the tourists and have a good time.

Zemrani said “but we have to justify this and report it according to the program of the vaccination operation. We will be able to regain confidence and perhaps resume tourist activity”.

He said that a resumption of demand is expected, given the great desire of tourists to travel, after the recession experienced by the sector since last March due to the pandemic. He added that the desire to travel will be immense.

The Vice President of the CNT stressed, in this context, that “Morocco should prepare for this step now, and more specifically on April 2, 2021 as a likely date to open our skies to the various airlines”. He called for this decision to be announced as soon as possible and to give more clarity to professionals so that they can prepare themselves.

Regarding the destination of Dakhla, Mr. Zemrani said that it seems to be spared from the pandemic. This is mainly thanks to the measures undertaken, especially the PCR test at the arrival of all visitors, since the appearance of Covid-19.

He indicated that this destination has a promising tourist future, and deserves to be preserved from excesses, especially mass tourism.

He concluded that “the recent good news regarding the recognition by the United States of America of Morocco’s sovereignty over its southern provinces and the opening of several consulates will make it, in the near future, a favorite destination for sustainable tourism that respects the environment”.

If despair has taken over among professionals, following the preventive measures recently undertaken by the government, the forecasts for next year indicate, however, that it will be bright. This is particularly true with the development of vaccines against Covid and the program-contract for the revival of the tourist sector, which covers the period 2020-2022, signed last August with the aim of strengthening and reviving the sector in the post-Covid phase.

This program-contract contains a series of measures to accompany this fundamental sector of the national economy, in order to boost it.

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