Tourist arrivals in Morocco fell by 78.5% by the end of 2020 against a 5.2% increase in 2019, while overnight stays fell by 72.4% compared to the year before, according to the Treasury and External Finance Department under the ministry of Economy, Finance and Administration Reform.
Cited by MAP News Agency, the same source said that despite the measures taken to mitigate the repercussions of the pandemic on the sector, tourist arrivals at border posts fell by 79.8% in the fourth quarter of 2020, adding that arrivals of foreign tourists dropped by 92% while those of Moroccans living abroad fell by 59%.
Overnight stays in classified hotels dropped by 82.6%, the Department pointed out. "After maintaining good momentum over the past three years, the tourism sector has heavily suffered from the effects of the health crisis and the restrictive measures put in place by the authorities to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic," the source noted.
The suspension from March 15 of all international passenger flights and maritime links from and to Moroccan territory as well as the declaration of the state of health emergency in the Kingdom have led to an almost total shutdown of tourist activity. The Moroccan authorities have announced various measures to ease the crossing of the national territory, particularly from September 7.
In fact, nationals of countries not subject to the visa requirement are authorized to travel to Moroccan territory on condition that they present a hotel reservation or an invitation from a Moroccan company as well as a negative COVID-19 screening test.
The authorities also announced the easing of restrictions, from October 1, for travellers to Morocco regarding the extension of the duration of the results of the PCR test to 72 hours before the flight instead of 48 hours with elimination of the serological test.