Minister: Crisis is Opportunity to Transform Moroccan Tourism Sector

Minister, Crisis is Opportunity to Transform Moroccan Tourism Sector

Rabat – The COVID-19 health crisis offers an opportunity to transform the tourism sector, Moroccan Minister of Tourism Nadia Fettah Alaoui said on Wednesday.

The minister is participating in the 112th session of the Executive Council of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), convening 30 member states to discuss the challenges affecting the sector.

Fettah Alaoui said that a change is possible by “adapting to new market realities.” In particular, she referenced “anticipating changes in tourist consumption patterns and taking advantages of the opportunities offered.”

The Moroccan official also commended the “fighting” spirit and actions of all UNWTO member governments to mitigate the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

She acknowledged that the crisis affected the sector seriously, recalling the Moroccan government’s urgent measures to maintain jobs and support the country’s economy, including tourism.

Fettah Alaoui spoke about Morocco’s recovery plan for the sector, seeking to preserve its economic fabric and employment.

The plan seeks to accelerate integration of employees in vulnerable situations and develop programs that seek to promote domestic tourism.

The Moroccan government aims to launch the national tourism sector revival program through a roadmap covering the period of 2020-2022.

Morocco’s tourism receipts dropped by 33.2% in the first six months of 2020, representing a loss of MAD 11.1 billion or $1.21 billion.

A new report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) shows that Morocco’s tourism sector is the fourth most impacted in the world by the pandemic.

The report ranked Morocco among the 10 countries that recorded remarkable losses from tourism revenues since the pandemic started to spread.

During her participation at the international event, Fettah Alaoui also commented on the organization of the 24th session of the UNWTO General Assembly, which will take place in Marrakech in 2021.

Morocco will be proud “and honored to bring together the great family of tourism and will spare no effort to welcome its guests and make them discover its riches, its traditions, and values of hospitality, tolerance, and openness.”

Fettah Alaoui’s department prepared a guide on health measures that Moroccan tourism sector operators adopted.

Morocco is still under a state of emergency until October 10. The country, however, announced a decision to reopen borders for Moroccans stranded abroad, Moroccans residing abroad, foreign residents, and their families.

Recently, Morocco’s flag carrier Royal Air Maroc also announced the country’s decision to reopen borders for tourists who have hotel reservations and for business people with an invitation from Moroccan companies.

A PCR test is one of the conditions for entry to Morocco.