Morocco’s tourism struggles for survival amid pandemic

Morocco’s tourism has been badly hampered by the covid-19 pandemic as people in various parts of the African country are waiting for businesses to pick up after a year of economic slowdown.

Official figures show that the pandemic is about to shove the country into its worst recession since 1996, as its GDP is seeing a contraction of about five percent of its GDP.

As per media reports, in Marrakesh, which is Morocco’s tourism stronghold, people are desperately waiting for tourists to return back to their spots to get the economy rolling. The iconic Jemaa el-Fnaa square, which is usually full of shop keepers and street performers, is almost empty and so are the various other places that welcome tourists to this city. 

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Mariam Amal, a community activist and street musician, said that the artists are begging in the souks and few of them even died during this pandemic and nobody knows what happened to their children. She urged the government to let the people work and not starve them to death amidst saving them from the pandemic.

The country reports that many of the shops are closed and only a few lucky ones are able to open their doors are lucky if they make a sale.

On the other hand, Israeli carrier Israir announced on Tuesday to start flights from Tel Aviv to Marrakesh in a month as ties, in recent months, have improved between Israel and Morocco.

Israir is to begin six-hour nonstop flights from July 19 and will operate five times a week.

This news is being seen as a pleasant whiff in the economically struck country as thousands of passengers from Israel will be visiting the destination as part of their vacation packages.

Israel and Morocco agreed, back in December, to resume diplomatic ties and restart direct flights. The deal was brokered by the United States as it recognized Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara.