The joy of the shopkeepers, restaurant and hotel employees can be seen when they are greeting visitors. The borders are opened, the rules are eased and Morocco’s remarkable towns, stunning mountains, and stunning coasts are welcoming tourists again. In 2018, nearly 10 million people went to Morocco, yet the pandemic created a dilemma for the travel industry and less than half of the amount of people visited in 2019. Despite the fact that the figures have not yet returned to the pre-pandemic times, the Tourism Minister, Fatim-Zahra Ammor, states that 3.4 million travelers arrived in the first half of this year. She is aiming to boost the total to 8 million in 2022 and an incredible 10.5 million tourists next year. Tourism is an essential sector helping to stimulate economic expansion in Morocco, so it is understandable why there is a feeling of relief as tourists return. The numbers are still low, but expectations are high. So, if you are one of the visitors planning to visit Morocco soon, what should you know?
What is the situation at the airport?
Although the air traffic controllers were prepared to strike in August, they were persuaded to remain in their posts after recent successful negotiations. When it comes to luggage, European airports have not experienced a revolution. But keep an eye on the airport authority’s ONDA Twitter account (in French only), as they report problems such as flight delays due to the blocking of flights from Europe.
Are there known disorders? Demonstrations: There are occasional demonstrations outside government buildings on Avenue Mohammed V in Rabat and in Casablanca. In the coming weeks, there is likely to be a demonstration about the increase in the cost of living. Demonstrations are usually peaceful, but if you don’t want to be in the crowd, follow embassy advice and avoid areas on protest days. Forest fires: As elsewhere in the Mediterranean, forest fires have broken out along the Moroccan coast, destroying hectares of forest in the Rif Mountains, especially in the Bouhachem National Park around the tourist-friendly towns of Larache, Chefchaouen and Tetouan. Talassemtane National Park is also affected, especially the park area near Akchour. The affected areas are all popular hiking trails, so be sure to seek advice from an experienced guide if you venture out. Drought: Morocco has been suffering from severe drought for several years. If you go to the Sahara, try to choose ecological camps that recycle gray water or have a sustainable water filtration system and do not dump waste in dry riverbeds. In cities, you can support the environment by taking a quick shower instead of bathing and choosing a hotel or riad with the La Clef Verte logo. These institutions promote the rational use of natural resources and good working conditions for staff.