Morocco: Government Explains Travel Agencies’ Exclusion From Tourism Support


Fez – Morocco’s government has excluded travel agencies from direct support due to the difficulty to pinpoint investment opportunities. However, employees at travel agencies are included in lump sum payments.

Government spokesperson Mustapha Baitas explained today, January 27, the government’s reasons behind the “exclusion” of travel agencies from support allocated for the tourism sector.

Baitas recalled that the government allocated MAD 2 billion ($ 216 million) to support the tourism sector, targeting two elements.

He noted that the first part covers tourism employees who receive a MAD 2,000 ($ 216) lump sum compensation, which includes travel agency workers.

The second part of the fund, MAD 1 billion ($108 million), is allocated for covering hoteliers’ business, he added, noting that this financial assistance is intended to help hotels invest in maintenance and restoration.

Baitas said that dialogue is being held with travel agencies, but cited the difficulty of finding where to invest in this category of the tourism sector, as a major part of their activity is mainly about providing services.

With the government’s vague talk about the border issue, tourism workers and travel agencies staged a national sit-in on January 26 to demand that the Moroccan government adhere to their requests.

On the same day, the National Association of Travel Agencies (ANAV) also held its second sit-in in front of the headquarters of the Ministry of Tourism in Rabat, after the first one took place on January 4. The event decried that “neither authorities nor national companies have contributed, even partially, to mitigate the damage caused to this sector.”

Tourism industry operators in Marrakech staged a sit-in on Monday, January 20, to protest their industry’s dire state.

The Moroccan government does not seem to provide a clear cut date for the reopening of borders, although some health officials and experts advised to open borders under certain conditions.