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Travel Agencies in Morocco protest against border closure

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Mosa'ab Elshamy/Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


Moroccan travel agents demonstrate in front of the headquarters of the Ministry of Tourism in Rabat to draw attention to the disastrous situation of the sector, after the country abruptly shut its borders, on november 29, over the Omicron variant of Covid, the latest blow to an industry battered by the nearly two-year pandemic.

Moroccan tour operators threatened with bankruptcy due to border closures protested Tuesday, calling for the tourism industry to be “saved” as the coronavirus wreaks havoc on international travel.

Close to 200 industry workers demonstrated in front of the tourism ministry in Rabat, demanding the reopening of borders and talks with the authorities, citing the “dramatic collapse” of the industry in the wake of the pandemic.

 Rajaa Ould Hamada, owner of a travel agency in Marrakech said the border closure had favored other countries.

"The recent border closure has delivered a fatal blow (to the sector), which benefited other countries such as Egypt, Turkey, the Emirates and others, as all our scheduled reservations were cancelled in favor of these destinations."

Morocco suspended all passenger flights from November 29 until January 31 as a result of rising infections of the Omicron variant worldwide.

Rabat recently promised about $216 monthly allowance to tourism workers for the final quarter of 2021.

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