While many expected a relaxation of the restrictive measures in force on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr, the barrier gestures have hardened. Yet another missed event for the tourism sector.
The relief of actors in the hotel industry was only short-lived. Last April, during the launch of the new marketing mechanism of the Moroccan National Tourism Office (ONMT) intended for domestic tourism, many operators were won over. The most optimistic were already counting on an imminent recovery in tourist activity, hoping very quickly to turn their backs on more than a year of famine. Almost the same enthusiasm in the regions where the presidents of regional tourism councils (CRTs) multiply testimonies of support for the approach initiated by the ONMT. But now Eid al-Fitr has ruined everything.
Indeed, if this festival, which marks the end of the month of Ramadan, is usually synonymous with joy and reunion for many Moroccans, this year it has been a source of anguish and worry for tourist operators. And for good reason! The strengthening of barrier measures as part of the fight against the spread of Covid-19 has caused many cancellations of hotel reservations. Result: for many hoteliers who relied on Eid to initiate a new phase of their tourism recovery plan, it’s a cold shower. If, recently, there has been a very strong desire to travel among Moroccans, an effervescence marked by an animation at the level of hotel reservations, there have been many cancellations due in particular to the limitation of traffic between cities. , regrets Nidal Lahlou, vice-president of the National Federation of the Hotel Industry (FNIH). “Where we expected a relaxation, we were entitled to a strengthening of barrier measures,” he regrets. It must be said that “the false announcements” in the press about, among other things, the placing of Fez under cover, played a big role in this almost general about-face among Moroccan customers who, usually, take advantage of this. party to afford a stay at the hotel.
While tourism professionals, very hard hit by the Covid-19 crisis, eagerly awaited this great opportunity to start working again and save the few jobs that remain in the sector, everything seems to indicate that they are far from leaving the inn. However, according to some specialists, all the conditions are more or less met for an effective new start of economic activities, in particular that of tourism.
Indeed, all the health measures put in place to fight against the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic continue to bear fruit on the national epidemiological curve, said last Tuesday in Rabat, the head of the division of communicable diseases in the directorate of epidemiology and disease control at the Ministry of Health, Abdelkrim Meziane Bellefquih. Presenting the bimonthly assessment of the epidemiological situation in the kingdom, the official highlighted the significant drop in cases of Covid-19 infection in the kingdom (-19.5%) for four consecutive weeks, stressing that this improvement is only the result of compliance with the health measures put in place, especially during the holy month of Ramadan. Better still, today, with the reception of new anti-Covid vaccines on Monday, May 10, the kingdom seems to be gradually getting rid of the psychosis linked to the shortage of vaccines. But today, despite a reassuring record of the management of Covid-19, the supervisory authorities continue to urge citizens to respect restrictive measures, to continue the efforts made and to take all the necessary measures to stem the spread. of the pandemic in our country. We can see it clearly: if, for the tourism sector, emergency measures have been taken, followed by a program contract to, first of all, save jobs and businesses, the recovery is not about to happen. arrive.
Khadim Mbaye / Eco Inspirations
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