Despite an earthquake that shook Morocco last September, the country’s Minister of Tourism, Handicrafts, and Social and Solidarity Economy, Fatim-Zahra Ammor, remains optimistic about the nation’s tourism prospects, setting a target of 14 million tourists by the end of 2023.
In an exclusive interview with VoyagesAfriq, conducted on the sidelines of the 25th UNWTO General Assembly in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, Fatim-Zahra Ammor highlighted the remarkable resilience of Morocco’s tourism industry.
Amid initial uncertainty following the earthquake, September unexpectedly emerged as a record-breaking month for Moroccan tourism. This success was attributed in part to the country’s effective crisis communication efforts and the solidarity shown by tourists.
Minister Ammor recalled the initial concerns: “When the earthquake arrived in early September, we were worried about what was going on and how we would end the year in Morocco. We were especially concerned as we were on track for very good numbers. But we showed strong resilience because we began communicating with international partners promptly to reassure them about the real situation in Morocco.”
She maintained that this was crucial because “the earthquake was not in Marrakech, as it was said in the beginning but rather 70 kilometres away. Therefore, for the tourists, the destination remained safe. Even tourists present at the time in Morocco shared their experiences on social media, providing testimonials about the actual situation.”
Minister Ammor expressed confidence in Morocco’s ability to achieve its ambitious tourism target, stating, “we did quite well. We had the best September ever and are planning to reach 14 million tourists by the end of the year, which is an all-time record.”