Nadia Fettah Alaoui, Morocco’s Minister of Tourism, Handicrafts, Air Transport, and Social Economy
Morocco, like many other countries around the world, has not been spared from the crippling effect of the Coronavirus pandemic on hospitality and tourism. But right from the onset, the country introduced comprehensive and robust austerity interventions to support businesses and professionals in the sector.
This was revealed by Nadia Fettah Alaoui, Morocco’s Minister of Tourism, Handicrafts, Air Transport, and Social Economy in an interview with VoyagesAfriq.
“As you know, tourism is about people and mainly, very skilled people and expertise, so we made a huge effort to support corporates and businesses to keep as many jobs as possible. So the government has provided direct subsidies to the companies, to the employees and the deal with the corporates is to at least keep 80% of the jobs.
It started at a very early stage, last year in March. Then we had a specific contract with the professionals in tourism that was launched in July until December and because of the second wave of the pandemic, we have extended until coming March. So it would be one year that the government is supporting the industry of tourism,” she said.
The North African country also launched safety guidelines for its hospitality sector which have been adopted and received high-level compliance from industry players.
She said “we need people and businesses to be safe, it was our first priority and under the guidance of His Majesty the King. So a big effort was made by the government and professionals to comply with all the guidelines regarding the safety of both employees and clients. So our first effort was to have a guideline for hospitality which was introduced in April which has been fully complied with by the hospitality industry. This allowed us to restart internal and local tourism last summer.”
This Nadia added is important to be able to restart tourism with the right people and in the right sanitary conditions. Beyond this, the Minister averred that Morocco has also made crucial moves to ensure that recognized globally as a safe destination for travellers.
“To prepare for a proper restart, we have launched with Veritas, the international cooperative for security another brand name, “Welcome Safely.” So it is a much more comprehensive guideline for safety within hotels and the hospitality industry and we are offering training and know-how expertise to all professionals in Morocco. Our objective is to have a majority of hotels and hospitality establishments to have this label and to be able to communicate why they have this label for Morocco,” Alaoui stated.
She also disclosed that “we are making a huge effort around marketing and promoting the Morocco brand and its regions so that are well-positioned because we know that there will be strong competition when we restart tourism around the world but we think that we have a lot of abilities and capabilities so we are preparing plans and materials to be present in major markets in the future.”
Story by Samuel Obeng Appah and edited by Kojo Bentum-Williams