Morocco: Travel Agencies to Stage Sit-In Near Tourism Ministry on January 4

January 4, 2022
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The Moroccan National Association of Travel Agencies (ANAVM) announced today it will hold a sit-in on January 4 at 11:00 am “next to the headquarters of the Ministry of Tourism” in Rabat.

With the COVID-19 crisis and the Moroccan government’s continued restrictive measures in response to the pandemic, the country’s tourism sector has been undergoing a “serious slump,” ANAVM explained. 

The ongoing closure of borders has worsened an already fragile situation, the group’s statement noted, adding that travel agencies have endured “enormous material and moral losses” as a result of Morocco’s travel ban. 

Citing the absence of “support” from authorities amid the pandemic, ANAVM said that “travel agencies feel abandoned to their fate after two years of this suffocating crisis.”

It added, “Neither authorities nor national companies have contributed, even partially, to mitigate the damage caused to this sector.” However, the statement recalled “the exception of the support allocated by the special fund dedicated to managing this pandemic.”

As they are part of the tourism sector, which was heavily hit by the pandemic, “travel agencies were the first and hardest hit” by the COVID-19 crisis, said the statement. It added that the agencies “ will be the last to recover, and in the worst-case scenarios, this crisis will spell the tragic end of this industry.”

After Morocco relaxed its COVID restrictions, ended the lockdown, and lifted the first travel ban, many in the tourism industry hoped for a quick return to normal. But the sudden closure of borders in late November 2021 killed any “glimmer of hope” about a return to normal in the coming week, ANVM suggested. 

Amid the far-reaching consequences of Morocco’s travel ban on the livelihood of travel professionals, Moroccan travel agencies have “worked out a plan of address to the minister of tourism bringing together a set of vital measures for the survival of the travel agencies,” the group said.

It concluded its statement by stressing that tomorrow’s sit-in aims to draw attention to the disastrous impact Morocco’s travel ban has had on the “thousands of people” employed by tourism agencies.