Business Travel: Morocco has been given a “very enviable” position

Morocco has created a “very enviable” position between Europe and the African continent, especially West Africa, in the business travel sector, says Abdelaziz Bougja, co-founder and president of “MARCO POLO”. Business travel, French think tank with representations abroad.

This is mainly due to the “Open Sky” agreements concluded with the EU, Bougja assesses in an interview with MAP in the wake of the recovery of the tourism sector after the lifting of travel restrictions by most countries. the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the eyes of the President of this think tank, whose members bring reflection to the hearts of companies and provide solutions to guarantee a virtuous development of the sector, “the new development towards the Gulf and Israel will undoubtedly prove to be very beneficial” for the Moroccan business travel sector.

Morocco has “undeniable assets” to position itself as a hub in this area, especially thanks to its geography, its history, its dynamics and a young population, Bougja believes.

The Kingdom’s deep roots both in Africa and on the European continent, its highly diversified economy and finally an exceptional infrastructure development (roads, ports, airports, railways), which facilitate connections, favor Morocco in this sense, he emphasizes.

In addition, the expert emphasizes the need for the Kingdom to further facilitate the entry and exit of borders in order to attract more customers. He also recommends “stop selling at prices that are too low” and “go from quantity to quality”.

“Of course, this attracts passengers, but this contributes to the financial difficulties of airlines,” notes the chairman of this think tank, which was set up in late 2008, with the aim of addressing the lack of representativeness of large companies in business travel, with an area that represents up to 60% of the service provider’s turnover and overseas dominance of choices and decisions through associations that define the product.

To return to the challenges currently facing the sector, Bougja first mentions the recovery of the level of airline consumption on which airlines are heavily dependent.

“Airplane bashing is probably the biggest challenge. It will go through intelligent lobbying to show the involvement of air transport in reducing CO emissions,” he explains.

The co-founder of “MARCO POLO” Business Travel also discusses the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the sector, which has “suffered terribly” mainly for international flights, representing 50% of volume and 70% of revenue. .

“International traffic fell by 90% in 15 days between March 1 and March 15, 2020. It is slowly recovering. We are now about 60% of the 2019 traffic, and are slowly rising towards 2019 levels, which should be reached next year “, he clarifies and points out that the economic losses are abysmal around 300 to 400 billion dollars.dollar.

And to add that in addition, it is necessary to restart the machine and in particular to re-qualify the crews who have not flown or very little in 2 years.

As for the sector’s prospects in the post-Covid period, Bougja reports a need for travel that “remains very strong”, noting that the level for 2019 should be reached in 2023.

“From there, the experts predict a growth of around 2% to 3%”, he predicts, noting that orders for new aircraft have remained very high and that the modernization of the fleets is a crucial factor for decarbonisation.

“MARCO POLO“ Professional Travel was founded in 2008 on the concept of Intuitu personae. Its members are co-opted, all representatives of business travel professionals. They are large customers (CAC40 companies), principals, large players from such diverse companies as travel agencies, airlines, hotel chains, car rental companies, means of payment, supervisory authorities, trade unions.

Its members reflect and share with expert guests in the areas of mobility, travel and tourism. They analyze and anticipate developments and changes in their professional environment. They bring thinking to the heart of companies and provide solutions that guarantee a virtuous development that must take into account the threats to our environment and the natural resources it offers.

The think tank has one requirement: to lead reflection at the highest level around values, humanism, sharing and initiative.

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