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A glimmer of hope and a lot of worries after two years of slump

Tourist activity is starting to take an upward curve and everything suggests that the year 2022 will be a good year or at least will experience an upturn. In the opinion of professionals, a glimmer of hope is emerging, as Mr. Larbi Choukairi points out (read the three questions at…). Same feeling with Ilias Benzitoun, General Manager at the Palais Amani in Fez. It must be recognized that the lifting of health restrictions, the cancellation of PCR tests for access to national territory, as well as the various measures launched to provide the necessary support to this sensitive sector, mean that tourist activity seems to be finding a small little by little its colors. Which are more and more vivid as the summer season approaches.

In a report by the National Tourism Federation and an instructive note from the supervisory ministry, the outlook for tourism will be promising for the year 2022. This will not only be the case for the sector, but also for other related activities, namely including crafts, catering, transport. Moreover, the Moroccan National Tourist Office (ONMT) is resolutely committed to ensuring that the recovery is beautiful after great efforts to highlight the Morocco destination. Not to mention the contribution of the ministry to help operators in the sector long affected by the effects of the pandemic.

Need we recall, on this subject, the initiatives taken in recent years and which are beginning to produce their effects on tourist activity? Already, at the end of March 2022, tourist receipts amounted to 9.7 billion dirhams (MMDH), up 80% compared to the same period of the previous year, with a 25% increase in exports of crafts during the same period.

Land and sea

For professionals, this development confirms the recovery in the sector. They explain this progress thanks in particular to the launch of an emergency plan of 2 billion dirhams, the payment of the fixed compensation of 2,000 dirhams for all employees in the sector, tourist carriers and classified restaurants and the postponement of reimbursement. maturities of bank loans for tourism businesses.

The recovery does not only concern the land, there is also the maritime with the cruise. These are good signs that announce a return to cruising. Indeed, the promotion of cruises is part of the development agenda for the Kingdom’s tourist attractiveness. As this operator explains, the cruise industry experienced sustained development before 2020, with the number of cruise passengers worldwide increasing from 19 million in 2010 to 30 million in 2020. And the year in course is announced under good auspices, we say to the FNT.

In this regard, Morocco displays a desire to diversify its offer and make a place for itself on the world stage. The 2030 national port strategy clearly defines the Kingdom’s ambitions in terms of cruise development. From 453,000 cruise passengers registered before the Covid-19 crisis across the country, Morocco wants to double or even triple flows by 2030.

As for the ONMT, it is worth remembering that it pulled out all the stops to make Morocco a tourist destination with the conclusion of a partnership with Tripadvisor, the largest travel recommendation platform in the world. . Following this agreement, Morocco reserves a place among the most recommended Mediterranean destinations on the platform, which has nearly 500 million travelers in 49 international markets.

In addition, the Office has launched its “Light Tour” tour in 3 strategic cities, namely Paris, London and New York, in the continuity of the unprecedented deployment of its “Terre de Lumière” campaign, thus confirming the aggressive promotional approach of the ONMT whose objective is for Morocco to quickly recover its pre-crisis position. This “Terre de Lumière” campaign, launched at the end of April, reached no less than 20 countries, which is a first in history.

Rediscover the charm of yesteryear

It particularly targets international tourists with an interest in art, cultural experiences, nature and rural heritage, beaches and leisure activities. In the wake of these initiatives and many others, the development of the cruise could regain all its charm, an opportunity for foreign tourists to discover the regions and seaside towns of the Kingdom and contribute to the development of their attractiveness and their economic ascent.

Finally, we cannot ignore the partnership between the ONMT and the CNT (National Tourism Council) to boost tourist activity with a view to recovery. This partnership will also allow the two parties to unify their efforts in order to form a striking force vis-à-vis international competition and to initiate the challenges of relaunching the tourism sector at national and international level.

The Office and the Confederation are also committed to working to strengthen domestic tourism, by pooling their expertise to develop innovative and practical solutions to problems linked to distribution. Especially since the ONMT’s mission is to support the digitization of the sector by training newly digitized operators in digital marketing and by raising awareness of the importance of Big Data and presence on the Web.


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