The recovery of tourism activity in Morocco will have to wait a little longer. In the opinion of two public and private operators, the long-awaited restart for next summer could be extended until 2023. The discovery of a new variant of Covid-19 in Europe will have worsened the health situation.
The emergence of the new strain of the coronavirus has buried any hope of a short-term recovery among operators, who are seeing their dreams slip far away. Consequently, no more foreign tourists have set foot on the territory of the kingdom since the tightening of conditions imposed on European travelers due to the occurrence of this new variant of the pandemic, observes Médias24.com. Even the small glimmer of hope that the vaccination campaign raised among operators has faded.
To convince themselves of this, the media interviewed two professionals. According to one of them, who is a source close to the tourism ministry, the slight tremor observed in Marrakech and Agadir in December was completely wiped out by the recent European restrictions due to the appearance of the new strain of more dangerous and contagious virus. This situation has severely penalized the receiving countries, including Morocco, which suffered a new disaffection from foreign visitors "after the warning note from the Quai d´Orsay, the quarantine in France and the closure of the English and German markets".
However, he admits, the sector will try "without much hope" to rebound in March or April, despite the current period which does not show any major economic stake. Far from therefore claiming a reversal of the current situation, operators prefer to prepare "the best conditions for a possible recovery in the spring", he underlines. Until the summer, therefore, they will "focus on spring break, although from a health standpoint things are not looking the best for this period," he observes.
By excluding any resumption for the months of March or April and focusing instead on June or July, this sector professional specifies that the prerequisite for this resumption is to ensure the smooth running of the vaccination campaign in the source markets and obviously in Morocco. "In this way, if things go well and the confidence of customers returns, we will have better conditions to start working again," he says, ensuring that he is basing a lot of "hope on the summer but all our recovery assumptions are based on the end of the vaccination campaign ”.
Commenting on the delay of the vaccination campaign in Morocco, which has already experienced several postponements, he believes that this will not prevent foreign arrivals. "Knowing that Morocco should soon receive its vaccines, it will be able to quickly welcome visitors because even the countries which started their campaign very early are not yet ready", he clarifies, basing himself on the current growth of the domestic tourism which, according to him, will support the sector while awaiting the return of foreign arrivals. To this end, he welcomes the many domestic arrivals in Ifrane, Dakhla and other towns. In conclusion, he says that a real resumption of activity is subject to collective immunity, which could last until the last quarter of 2021.