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A GLOW OF HOPE FOR A TOURIST CITY BY EXCELLENCE

Marrakech has suffered too much from prolonged confinement and the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic, in the absence of a real political will to resuscitate the economy of this city which depends on tourism. After months of skepticism, foreign tourists are once again interested in the Red City.

From a bustling city, Marrakech has become a ghost town. First destination of the Kingdom, it has suffered too much from a confinement that lasts and lasts and the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic, in the absence of a real political will to resuscitate the economy of this city which depends on the tourism. However, after months of skepticism and economic gloom, a glimmer of hope looms on the horizon. The Ocher City has received its first foreign tourists in recent days.

Information confirmed by various operators. Marrakech-Menara airport receives 17 foreign flights per week. Foreign tour operators, including Booking, played an important role in this recovery, promoting the destination and establishing contacts with local operators. Flights from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport landed on Saturday September 26 and Sunday September 27, 2020, aboard which there were French tourists, the main customers of this destination. Several airlines provide transport for tourists (RAM, AIr France, KLM, Delta Airlines, Transavia, Air Arabia, Wizz Air).

Big losses
These arrivals were received differently by tourist operators. An undeniable glimmer of hope for some, an insufficient flow for others. “Since March 2020, the city of Marrakech in particular has suffered big losses due to the shutdown of tourist activity caused by the lockdown. On Thursday 24, Friday 25 and Sunday 27 September 2020, we received the very first foreign tourists, especially from France. This is a positive signal for us and for many tourist operators in the city ”, confides Mounir Chami, General Manager of Carresa Group, specializing in tourist transport, private shuttles and transfers to airports and partner n ° 1 from Booking.com. For this operator, this is just the beginning. “We must remain hopeful and believe that this recovery, however modest it may be, will last. When they arrived, these foreign tourists harbored fear of being infected. When they saw that the cars and buses we made available to them were disinfected and certified, with professional service, they regained confidence. And this element of confidence is crucial at this time of uncertainty to encourage other tourists to come to Morocco, “said Mounir Chami.

The number of daily and weekly limited flights as well as airlines operating at Menara Airport are slowing the arrival of mass tourists. A criterion that does not encourage other tourism operators to restart their activity. This is the case with Ali Rahimi, owner of the AlKabir Hotel in Marrakech and a member of the Marrakech Hotel Industry Association, who, like many others, is awaiting a real recovery. “Marrakech received 30,000 foreign tourists per week. Currently, that number does not exceed, at best, 3,000. It’s not sufficient. It is even insignificant for a hotel to be profitable or for it to at least reach its financial equilibrium “, laments Ali Rahimi.

For some time, applications like Uber and others have appeared in Morocco. In any case, this is what comes to mind with the announcement of a new application allowing you to control a car with a driver using your smartphone. The development of this mobile application called CARRESA GO, however, began at the end of 2021 at the initiative of Carresa Group, Moroccan leader in Tourist Transport. Available for free since February 06 on Android and soon on Iphone, the platform allows users to book several services in advance (a car with driver or an airport transfer or a single trip. Then just a simple click compare the prices which are calculated per KM and also fixed prices per trip and per vehicle by entering the departure and arrival destination then enter personal information to receive an invoice. Upon receipt of the reservation will be automatically assigned to an available driver who will then come in your direction after the end of the journey, customers can receive a survey to leave a notice that will allow the quality department of the company Carresa Group to assess the quality of its service.

by Marouane Kabbaj