Morocco’s Tourism Revival: Spanish Travel Agents Visit Tangier
- 19 October 2020 / News / 141 / Emerging Africa
Meknes – The revival of Morocco’s tourism sector is well underway, with a group of tourism professionals from Spain currently visiting Tangier as part of Morocco’s first familiarization trip (fam trip) since the outbreak of COVID-19.
Tangier Ibn Batouta airport received the delegation of 15 travel agents and two travel-oriented journalists on Thursday evening. The visiting professionals are members of the Association of Travel Agencies of Spain’s southern region of Andalusia.
Morocco’s National Tourism Office (ONMT) organized the visit, which is part of the office’s efforts to promote tourism in Morocco, according to ONMT’s representative in Andalusia Azzedine Bijjou.
Although accomplishing such an initiative during the COVID-19 pandemic was difficult, “in the end, we managed to organize this trip, which aims to enable Spanish tourism actors to meet their counterparts in the region of Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima and in Rabat,” said the official.
Bijjou added that the purpose of the visit is to facilitate strategizing between the Moroccan and Spanish professionals on “scheduling trips soon” to “encourage Spanish tourists to visit Morocco to help revive the sector.”
Morocco’s tourism sector usually accounts for 11% of the country’s GDP, and took a particularly hard hit from the COVID-19 pandemic. As Morocco began welcoming foreign tourists again in September, the country’s officials and tourism professionals have worked on strategies to promote the sector under safe conditions.
The two journalists in the delegation will report on meetings between Moroccan and Spanish stakeholders and better familiarize Spaniards with the atmosphere in Morocco in order to promote Moroccan tourism among Andalusians.
The President of the Regional Tourism Council of Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima, Rukia Alaoui, warmly welcomed the delegation. She affirmed to Morocco’s state media that the visit should allow the Spanish travel agents to closely acquaint themselves with Morocco’s efforts to implement COVID-19 preventive measures in the tourism sector.
“We are in close contact with them [tourism professionals from Andalusia]. They know and love Morocco and have worked in the Moroccan market on several occasions, but this is their first visit since the beginning of the lockdown,” Alaoui added.
Karina Almanazi Viajes Karisma heads the Viajes Carisma travel agency, which largely works to attract German tourists to Spain, Portugal, and Morocco. She told Morocco’s state media that “the forecasts for next year are very good for Morocco,” describing the country as a fascinating destination with its people’s hospitality, gastronomy, culture, and history.
Director of Spanish magazine Atalayar entre dos Orillas, Javier Fernandez, underlined the need to “overcome the fear of COVID-19 while remaining vigilant.” Fernandez also underlined the importance of seizing opportunities for cooperation between the two neighboring countries.
“We are here today, and this is proof that every Spaniard can come to Morocco, and vice versa,” he added.
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