After two years of health restrictions due to COVID-19, hotel demand has been strong at the end of the year, reaching pre-pandemic figures

Las políticas marroquíes en turismo comienzan a dar sus frutos

photo_camera PHOTO/ARCHIVO - Tourism in Morocco

Tourist bookings are on the rise in Morocco and professionals hope to match pre-COVID numbers. The good news did not stop coming to the Alawi kingdom. The Moroccan government announced the reopening of its airspace as of February due to pressure from numerous experts and economic agents, and it has been noticed.  

The favourable evolution of the country's epidemiological situation has been key to the resumption of international flights. Morocco has begun to normalise the situation thanks to the resumption of international flights and the opening of borders. As a result, more and more tourists are arriving in the country in a more normal way. The travel industry seems to be starting to recover after months of total closure, when it barely managed to function. 

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Many tourists have already started booking end-of-year holidays in Morocco, which is good for tourism, reported the daily Les Inspirations Eco. For good reason, hotel bookings have soared in recent weeks. The newspaper, quoting Mustafa Amalik, secretary general of the Marrakech Hotels Association (AIH), referenced that the figures could be the highest ever and surpass 2019 records. 

The executive said in an interview that "the tourism sector is on track to achieve the targets as we approach the end of the year, considered the last peak season. "Although it is still short, destinations such as Marrakech are very popular during this period," he noted. 

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According to him, one of the criteria in favour of the Moroccan destination is the variety of offers, as well as other special conditions not found in other competitors. While global tourism is expected to reach pre-pandemic levels by the end of the year, Morocco may have many assets, he noted. 

Moreover, Tourism Minister Fatim Zahra Ammor announced a few days ago in the Senate that the recovery rate of Morocco's tourism industry reached 80 per cent by the end of October last year. Even better, as the article points out, this rate is higher than the 70% achieved worldwide by COVID. 

The North African country's growth in tourism is largely due to the measures taken by the government and the directives of King Mohammed VI. In this regard, the investment in the three main airports in 2023 is around 4 billion dirhams, which shows that the office is looking for more innovative financing methods to initiate development projects.

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According to the National Airports Office (ONDA), more than 21,330 flights have arrived in Morocco during this period, which means that the situation has returned to normal after the epidemic. ONDA noted that in March alone, Moroccan airports handled nearly 1.5 million passengers with approximately 13,543 flights.  

This shows that the industry is recovering. The data confirmed that there has been a similar recovery to 2019 levels. ONDA announced that this year there was 70% of passengers and 80% of airport traffic over the total. In addition, ONDA noted that the refund rate for travellers who had been to Morocco in March was 67% compared to the same period in 2019, as more than 170,000 passengers stayed in the Maghreb country in 2022. 

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In addition, projects such as Royal Air Maroc's project to resume the Casablanca-Tenerife route with two weekly frequencies, whose departure point will be Casablanca's Mohammed V Airport, only further encourage the growth of a sector that is one of the pillars of the North African nation's economy. 

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