What is your perspective on the tourism sector’s ability to bounce back from the pandemic?
Things are beginning to open up, yet we still see limited numbers of requests and bookings. Tours are a large part of Moroccan tourism; however, hiking and trekking in the mountains were not that popular. Now though, we are seeing many more people wanting to be out in nature after being restricted to their homes for so long. Therefore, I expect a shift in the type of tourism people will seek out when the economy fully reopens. I predict less demand for tours of cities and more crowded places and a pick-up in more rural locations. We are working now to better understand customer behavior once normalization is achieved. We do not intend to limit ourselves to the traditional tourism models popular before the pandemic. We are starting to see new bookings and requests. We used the quiet time during the pandemic to reach out to new markets, including South America and Asia. We hope to regain all our staff and be ready for new business and a busy 2022.
What is your message to potential tourism investors?
For all sectors, not only tourism, we all saw how Morocco dealt with the pandemic. The King and the government took effective decisions that yielded good results. These confirmed how Morocco was thinking ahead. The King has signed an agreement with a Chinese manufacturer of Astra Zeneca to have the packaging produced in Morocco, which will allow Moroccans better access to the vaccine. Furthermore, it positions Morocco as the gateway into the African market. Now there is also talk of variants and future possibilities, whereby it is clearly advantageous to have a foothold in this industry. Moreover, the political stability of Morocco is important. Tourism in Morocco has much to offer, and there are new destinations, such as Dakhla, being added to our portfolio. Morocco is, therefore, able to offer a wide range of activities and locations to cover many tourists' interests and needs.