is it really bent to go to Morocco?

On the D-16 during the school holidays, hope fades after the closure of the Moroccan sky for two weeks and the cascade of airline cancellations. While waiting for the December 13 deadline, hotel owners are adjusting.

From our correspondent. – Moroccan hoteliers have deployed all their adaptability since the start of the Covid 19 pandemic, but this time their patience is very close to reaching its limits. After announcing the suspension of flights with France on 26 November, Morocco finally decided at the last minute to shut down all direct passenger flights for a period of two weeks from the evening of 29 November.

The reason ? der “ rapid spread of new variant of covid 19 virus “Omicron” especially in Europe and Africa “and the will” to preserve the results that Morocco has achieved in the fight against the pandemic », Indicates a press release from the Covid Inter-Ministerial Monitoring Committee. On December 1, while the cumulative number of people fully vaccinated with two doses was 22.68 million and with three doses to 1.69 million, there were 171 new cases, one of the lowest levels of daily contamination since the pandemic start. That is to say, if the decision caused astonishment of the professionals in tourism. “ Hotel owners try to maintain employment and thus social cohesion, but every time an improvement begins, we are brutally cut off from our hopes “lamented the head of a palace in Marrakech, for which the situation is” dramatic “. While the end of the year the celebration heralded” the great return of Marrakesh “, As summed up by Alexandre Leymarie, director of the Beldi Country Club, the question was on everyone’s lips: Will foreign travelers, especially French people, be able to come and celebrate the turn of the year in Morocco?

Deletion of cascade aircraft

On November 25, Morocco decided to suspend “for the time being” direct flights to and from France due to the resurgence of the epidemic in France. Before closing all air borders for two weeks. Raid Laabi / stock.adobe.com

And all in all, to look at the sky, which seemed less and less favorable during the hours the airlines liked nothing less than uncertainty. Following in the footsteps of Easyjet, which took the lead in canceling its flight plan until the end of December, Transavia has decided to cancel all its France / Morocco flights until 2 January inclusive (while offering Morocco / France flights at least until 12 December). As for the low-cost airline Ryanair, it announced on Wednesday that all its flights to Morocco were suspended until February 1, 2022 in a press release in which they apologize “ the ambiguity of the Moroccan authorities “and” the persistent uncertainty ”Indicates the local press, which represents a total of 230,000 passengers.

For the other companies, the tension persists while waiting to find out whether the closure measure will be extended or lifted. Royal Air Morocco announces that it will suspend its flights until December 13 at 11:59 p.m., with a program of special flights until December 6 in the meantime. Air France, for its part, has canceled all its rotations until December 5 and continues to offer return flights at blocked prices between Morocco and France, depending on the permits. And TuiFly will suspend its program from France until December 22, hoping to resume operations on the 23rd.

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Schedules are starting to be emptied for the holidays, though customers, especially regulars, are still waiting for the last minute. “ Almost all reservations for the Christmas week were pulverized in a few days when we were full“, Laments Eros Abrile, general manager of the boutique hotel Les Deux Tours in the palm grove, which has closed its doors temporarily until December 18, which was not planned even during this low-season period. For the riads, who had finally resumed their activity thanks to All Saints’ Day, the excitement is set to be long.

“Crossed atmosphere”

The mood is gloomy », Sums up Stéphane Leroy, president of the Association of Guest Houses of Marrakech and the South (MGH), which does not spare its efforts to support its members. “ Many are closing their riads in the current two weeks“.” It feels like going back two years »Sighs Stéphanie Guimberteau, a longtime resident of the medina, where she manages five riads. “ Apart from the fact that today we are at the end of our financial capacity, we have reinvested everything to be on top for the holidays and 2022 “.

Tourism’s bridgehead for the celebration of the end of the year, will Marrakech shine with all its light? If the state of health has been extended to 31 December, nightlife – apart from discos and casinos – has resumed its rights since the lifting of the curfew in early November. And the hotels are currently maintaining or organizing the planned festivities while they are ready to draw up plans B if the closure of the sky is extended. “ We will adapt as always “, emphasizes Kenza Zizi, Marketing Director of Royal Mansour,” the schedule for our restaurants remains unchanged and we are going to have a very nice decoration this weekend. The magic of Christmas will be there to make our customers dream “. For many hoteliers, however, it risks leaving a bitter taste, as the ghost of bankruptcy has never been so present.

A sign that life is continuing in spite of everything, Marrakech is officially launching M Avenue, a new 5-hectare tourist-cultural district located near La Menara, which will soon host footballer Cristiano Ronaldo’s Pestana CR7 Lifestyle hotel. With especially the main role at the inauguration, Meydene, its 3000 m2 cultural center with permanent exhibition space, immersive space, theater and roof terrace dedicated to authentic Moroccan culinary art. A new place to discover as soon as the sky reopens. Reply in a few days …

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