Published on : Saturday, January 29, 2022
Workers in Morocco’s important tourism sector protested for the second time this month to criticize a two-month-old border closure aimed toward defying the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
Almost 200 travel industry workers assembled in front of the tourism ministry in Rabat, with other demonstrations happening in the tourist centers of Agadir and Marrakesh.
Morocco suspended all passenger flights from November 29 until at least January 31 with the spreading of the highly infectious Omicron variant worldwide.
The restrictions have dealt a harsh blow to Morocco’s tourism sector, which was already suffering after two lost seasons due to the pandemic.
Demonstrators said that they are “excluded” from a two billion dirham ($214 million) government aid programme for the sector.
In 2019, tourism accounted for nearly seven percent of GDP for the North African country.
Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita said it was “important to reopen the airways just as it is important to follow the evolution of the pandemic.”
About 200 industry workers threatened with bankruptcy also protested the border closure outside the tourism ministry on January 4.