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    Morocco’s Tourist Arrivals Drop 78%, Revenue Loss MAD 5.3 Billion

    The Moroccan tourism sector continues to suffer the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic that has crippled the number of tourist arrivals.

    19 May 2021

    Rabat – The first quarter of 2021 shows a 78% drop in tourist arrivals, representing 230,000 tourists, compared to the same period in 2020 according to figures announced by the Minister of Solidarity and Social Development, Jamila El Moussali during Monday’s parliament session dedicated for oral questions.

    El Moussali, who was representing the Minister of Tourism, Nadia Fettah Alaoui, said that the decreased number of tourists was equivalent to Morocco losing MAD 5.3 billion ($601.71 million) in revenue from tourism, a drop of 69% on a year to year basis.

    Air traffic through Moroccan airports was also impacted, recording a 70% drop. The minister added that the drop in air traffic is forecasted to persist until 2023 with full recovery expected in 2024.

    The senior official highlighted that the government signed a 2020/2022 contractual program to support and revive the tourism sector. The program aims to preserve jobs and the economic fabric as well as structurally transforming the tourism sector.

    The program includes several measures designed for classified tourism institutions, as well as travel agencies, tourist restaurants, local tour guides, and tourist transport owners.

    It also seeks to guarantee income sources for the tourism sector professionals and give access to social security, as well as facilitating and speeding up the revival of the sector by laying the foundations to develop a sustainable tourism sector.

    The minister drew attention to the ministerial measures which favor tourism sector operators. The result is monthly financial aid of up to MAD 2,000 ($227) to tourism companies, tour guides, ground handling companies, and tourist restaurants registered with the National Social Security Fund (CNSS).

    There were more than 5,000 companies — representing more than 79,000 salaried — that submitted their compensation requests.

    El Moussali added that the ministry of tourism registered more than 3,000 tour guides in the CNSS to benefit from social protection and financial aid. Also, the ministry extended the tax revenue exemption for employees registered in the CNSS until June 30, 2021.

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