• With lesser foreign tourists, Morocco relies on local tourism

    Published on : Saturday, February 20, 2021

    The closure of the borders, more than a year ago due to the pandemic, has blocked foreign tourists who visited regularly, getting lured by the beauty of Morocco’s snow-capped Atlas Mountains.

    Moulay Abdellah Lahrizi, owner of the Auberge des Jardins d’Azrou, has lost 70% of his clientele.

    “We hope to be able to see foreign tourism in the country as soon as possible because that’s what really saves the situation because it’s tourism that runs all year round and runs every day. And then we, as guides, as lodge owners, we receive tourists like those every day. Other than that, local tourism is really a good thing, it has saved our work, but it’s not sufficient,” said Moulay Abdellah.

    Even though foreign tourists have significantly declined over the past few months, local tourism seems to have stayed positive.

    Youssef Mouhyi, director of the “Maison de la cédraie” said, “This region has been more or less saved by local tourism because we are in a fairly open region, we are in the ecotourism sector, so thank God, there is traffic, there are people coming, visiting the region. We are also mainly helped by Ifrane, a region in great demand where there are demand and many visits.”

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    Tags: foreign tourists, morocco

  • Morocco to host 24th UNWTO General Assembly in MarrakechTravel And Tour World

    Published on : Thursday, February 4, 2021

    Morocco is all set to host in Marrakech the 24th General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in Marrakech around the fourth quarter of 2021. Meeting in Rabat on February 3, Moroccan Minister of Tourism Nadia Fettah Alaoui and UNWTO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili signed a letter of intent to formalise Morocco’s hosting of the upcoming international event. The letter confirmed the commitment of Morocco and the UNWTO to overcome COVID-19 challenges and hold the 24th general assembly.

    Morocco first earned the right to host the upcoming meeting during the 23rd UNWTO General Assembly, held in Russia in September 2019. During the event, Morocco won the majority of votes to host the next meeting. Out of 104 votes cast, Morocco earned 76, the Philippines 15, and Kenya 13. After the vote, Morocco’s Minister of Tourism at the time, Mohammed Sajid, said the distinction was an illustration of Morocco’s status as a leader in world tourism.

    Minister Fettah Alaoui stated the signing, which coincides with the start of vaccination campaigns around the world, gives a strong signal and message of hope to the international tourism community and to Moroccan tourism operators in particular. She expressed Morocco’s “pride and honor” to host the UNWTO General Assembly, and promised to collaborate with all stakeholders to guarantee the smooth running of the global tourism event.

    During her talks with Pololikashvili, Fettah Alaoui presented some of Morocco’s efforts to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the tourism sector. She recalled the allocation of monthly stipends for laid-off tourism workers and the exoneration of tourism businesses from some financial charges. She also spoke about Morocco’s active contribution to various UNWTO initiatives, notably in the fields of training and education and mentioned that alongside Kenya, Morocco represents Africa in the UNWTO Online Education Committee. This allows the country to share its expertise in training tourism workers.

    Meanwhile, Pololikashvili described the upcoming UNWTO General Assembly as “historic,” because it will be the first important post-pandemic tourism event. He also pledged that the UN organization will make all the necessary efforts to contribute to the success of the upcoming event. The tourism expert, who previously served as Georgia’s ambassador to Rabat, said Morocco, and specifically Marrakech, is “an excellent destination” to promote tourism. He also shared that the Marrakech meeting will be an opportunity to discuss the future of the tourism sector, which was the hardest-hit in the world by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    During his visit to Rabat, Pololikashvili also met with Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Bourita. During the meeting, Bourita spoke about Morocco’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 and expressed the country’s support for UNWTO efforts to help struggling tourism businesses across the world. Reminiscing about his time as ambassador in Rabat, back in 2006, Pololikashvili spoke admiringly of Morocco’s notable progress over the years, especially in terms of infrastructure.

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    Tags: marrakech, morocco, The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO)

  • Morocco and Switzerland launches program to promote sustainable tourismTravel And Tour World

    Published on : Friday, January 29, 2021

    Morocco and Switzerland have officially launched the Moroccan-Swiss program with the aim to develop the conditions of sustainable tourism in the region of Beni Mellal-Khenifra. Moroccan Minister of Tourism, Handicraft, Air Transport and Social Economy, Nadia Fettah Allaoui held the meeting with the Swiss ambassador, Guillaume Scheurer, to further discuss the Moroccan-Swiss agreement that was signed last June 8.

    The Moroccan-Swiss program is part of a bilateral agreement between the government of Morocco and the Swiss Confederation to promote social and economic development. The five-year program seeks to develop the sustainable tourism value chain in order to help strengthen the economy, create jobs, especially for young people and women, and reduce poverty.

    A “sustainable tourism value chain” means developing the network of tourism organizations in both public and private sectors, including accommodation, transport, and excursion and the marketing of touristic products such as food production, handicrafts, restaurants, and infrastructure connected to touristic activities. The concept hopes to ensure that everyone involved in tourism, from small vendors and food stalls to large companies, all profit from the process in a sustainable manner.

    The program budget amounts to 38.5 million dirhams. The budget is 90% financed by the Swiss Sate Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) with a 10% contribution from the Ministry of Tourism and the Moroccan Society of Tourism Engineering (SMIT). The program will involve the work of national strategic partners and public, private and regional associative actors invested in the tourism sector.

    In the meeting, Swiss Ambassador Scheurer said that both parties chose to focus on the Beni Mellal-Khenifra region for its rich natural assets and the availability of “very well trained tourism agents,” that can have a real impact in promoting sustainable tourism. The program is based on three pillars. Firstly it aims to develop conditions conducive to the development of sustainable tourism. Secondly, it will strengthen competitiveness and market access to certain sectors included in the tourism value chain, followed by the development of tourism skills.

    The Beni Mellal-Khenifra region is undergoing major regional development in multiple sectors, including the economy, social aspects, and the vital local tourism sector. The United States and Morocco also launched an 18 million dollar program that aims to promote regional development in the province of the Beni Mellal-Kenifra. Together with the Wilaya and the Regional Council of the region, the US Agency for International Development launched the program with the objectives of creating economic opportunities for women, young people, people with special needs, and rural populations.

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    Tags: Moroccan-Swiss program, morocco, sustainable tourism, Switzerland