Travel costs scare tourism more than monkey leaves

Morocco is supporting the return of migrants over the summer to revive tourism (Getty)

Actors in the Moroccan tourism sector are not too worried about the summer season, especially since three suspected cases of monkey pox were negative in the country. They are more afraid of the consequences of high travel costs on visitor rates, especially of Moroccan immigrants who spend their annual holidays in their home country and significantly affect the revitalization of the sector and its income.

As soon as the outbreak of aphid infections was announced in many countries, including Morocco, fears of new restrictions were renewed, especially with regard to travel and tourism, as many of them brought about the consequences of the outbreak of the Corona virus about two and a half . Years ago.

But specialists in the health sector in Morocco showed that the release of monkeys does not require quarantine or measures when traveling or closing airports, noting that this virus was known fifty years ago and ways to prevent it are known.

In contrast to reducing the effects of the virus on the tourist season this summer, on which sector workers depend after a two-year stagnation, the head of the National Federation of the Hotel Industry, Lahcen Zalmat, says what worries him most is the high prices. of plane and boat tickets, showing the need to solve them, the problem is the attraction of tourists.

Zalmat added, in a statement to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, that high travel costs may push some visitors to refrain from UK solutions over the summer, explaining that airline ticket prices have doubled in the recent period. and may increase further during the peak return season of Moroccan immigrants and tourists during the period.Between July and September.

The issue of high shipping prices used by Moroccan migrants coming from Europe has also recently been raised, amid expectations that ticket prices and car transit costs on board ships will rise to unprecedented levels by September. .

The price increases come at a time when transport companies of all kinds are seeking to offset some of the losses they have suffered in the last two years due to Corona restrictions, as well as burdening passengers with the burden of high prices. kerosene. aircraft and port service costs in recent months.

The head of the National Federation of the Hotel Industry emphasizes that the price of travel tickets should not be a decisive factor in influencing the decision of tourists, as the other expenses they will spend when arriving in Moroccan cities should be taken into account.

Late last week, Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch chaired a meeting to unveil measures taken to revive the tourism sector after two years of the aftermath of the global health crisis, particularly by recording some positive indicators that can be invested in to wait a good season.

Minister of Tourism Nadia Fattah Alawi presented the vision of reviving the tourism sector, the emphasis was on providing the largest number of places for tourists coming to the country by airline, developing tourism promotion, implementing promotional campaigns and matching supply on demand.

Zalmat confirms that demand has recently returned for the Moroccan tourism product, especially in light of promotional campaigns conducted by the National Tourism Office in many countries, noting that a return to the level reached by the Kingdom before the pandemic could be achieved . next year.

Professionals are betting on reaching a step in the sector over the summer, in case there will be no undesirable developments at the health level, as this will increase the confidence of tourists in the Moroccan destination, knowing that the competition will be strong with destinations. similar to Morocco, especially in the Mediterranean.

The desire to revive the sector prompted the Moroccan National Tourism Office to launch an international campaign to promote the Moroccan tourism product, under the slogan “Morocco, the land of lights”, targeting around twenty countries in Europe, America, the Middle East and Africa. . .

And the cruises recently resumed between Morocco and Spain, where the process of crossing Moroccan migrants will resume this year, after being halted in the last two years amid the health crisis and strained relations between the two countries.

A “Welcome” campaign has been launched, related to the return of about 3 million Moroccans living in Europe and other countries of the world, which contributes to the revival of the tourist season.

According to data released by the Directorate of Financial Studies and Forecasts of the Moroccan Ministry of Economy and Finance, last March, the number of tourist arrivals increased by 34% on an annual basis in 2021, registering more than 3.7 million tourists, due to an increase in the number of immigrants from Moroccans living abroad by 77.9%, compared to a decrease in the number of foreigners by 8.8%.

Support will be given to Royal Air Morocco to revitalize the tourism sector, given that the company is betting to restore much of its recovery next summer, through a plan to secure six million seats to provide flights for about eighty airlines worldwide.

The national carrier announced it aims to cover 90% of the network of destinations it was offering in 2019, before the Corona virus pandemic hampered its development and halted flights due to air border closures.

Air carriers have also begun announcing their plans for Morocco in the coming period. The Irish company, Ryanair, announced that Morocco next summer will share a capacity of two million seats, an increase of 54% compared to 2019.

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