Morocco’s Essaouira Receives First Group of Tourists Since Lockdown

  • 03 November 2020 / News / 231 / Emerging Africa

Morocco’s Essaouira Receives First Group of Tourists Since Lockdown

The Essaouira-Mogador International Airport received a group of 74 tourists on Saturday, the city’s first since Morocco entered lockdown, as part of the country’s efforts to revive tourism and the national economy.

Ryanair served the flight from Belgium to Essaouira.

Tourism experts organized a welcome ceremony at the airport to celebrate the return of tourists to the city.

The city’s tourism council distributed flowers, protective masks, and hydroalcoholic gels to the visitors.

The acting director of Essaouira-Mogador International Airport, Mohammed Arhjol, expressed excitement at the return of tourists.

He said that the “happy event” is of great importance and should bring “enormous hopes to tourism professionals across the province.”

The Irish low-cost airline Ryanair recently announced that it will increase its flights to and from Morocco during the winter.

On October 25, the airline said it will resume operation of 58 flights per week concerning 45 destinations.

The flights seek to help the revival of tourism in Morocco. The flights connect Morocco with Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK, and Portugal.

The arrival of the Belgian tourists in Essaouira comes after months of suspended air travel due to COVID-19. Morocco suspended all international travel on March 15 to fight the spread of the pandemic.

During the lockdown, Morocco allowed special flights to bring back stranded Moroccans abroad and return foreign tourists to their home countries.

In September, Morocco began allowing foreign tourists from visa-exempt countries to enter the country as long as they have hotel reservations.

The country also allowed business people to access the country with invitations from Moroccan companies.

The measures seek to revive Morocco’s economy.

In addition to Essaouira, Marrakech and Agadir also welcomed their first groups of French and British tourists in October.