Morocco committed to advancing tourism cooperation with Arab states

This article was originally published on Morocco World News on June 18, 2020.

Rabat – The Minister of Tourism, Handicrafts, Air Transport, and Social Economy, Nadia Fettah, underlined Wednesday Morocco’s commitment to further cooperation with “brotherly Arab countries” in the field of tourism.

During a virtual meeting on June 17, Fettah said Morocco is keen to reinforce “a joint Arab action” and consolidate the “distinguished relations” between Arab countries.

The Moroccan minister also emphasized the importance of solidarity and joint action among Arab countries to preserve the resilience of the tourism sector amid the current global crises.

The Arab League, the World Tourism Organization, and Arab and regional organizations must support the tourism sector and mitigate the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, she added. 

Under the leadership of King Mohammed VI, the Moroccan government has implemented a response and management strategy to sustain the tourism sector during the crisis, one that prioritizes the health and safety of citizens, the minister continued.

The minister outlined the creation of a dedicated fund and the development of a digital platform as measures to benefit tourism operators. She also referenced the adoption of Law 30.20 enacting specific measures for tourist contracts and passenger air transportation contracts to reduce financial pressure on service providers.

Fettah went on to emphasize the preparation of a guide on health measures for Moroccan tourism operators and the implementation of several recommendations on safety and health measures for professionals in the sector.

The Moroccan Ministry of Tourism said participants in the virtual conference adopted a declaration at the end of the Arab Ministerial Council for Tourism session. The declaration aims to mitigate the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on regional tourism.

Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani said on June 16 the second phase of Morocco’s deconfinement is set to include a relaunch of more economic, social, and cultural activities in both zones 1 and 2. Part of this stage of deconfinement may include preparation to eventually welcome foreign tourists.

While the government nulls measures to safely resume international travel. Morocco has also made clear its plans to focus on shoring up domestic tourism. The local governments of Marrakech and Essaouira, for example, have both placed appealing to domestic visitors at the core of their revival strategies.

Domestic tourism is capable of allowing a sustained and secure revival of the sector in Marrakech, said the President of the Communal Council of Marrakech, Mohamed Larbi Belcaid, on May 28.

As cities throughout the country devise measures to promote domestic tourism, the National Tourism Confederation (CNT) said on June 11 it is working on developing a collaborative platform for the national market. 

Moroccan tourism has a long road to recovery, but if government action and domestic appeals are successful, and if the cooperation with Arab states proves fruitful, the North African country should be able to gradually breathe life back into the pandemic-battered sector.

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