Morocco to spend $220 mln in aid to pandemic hit tourism sector

Morocco to spend $220 mln in aid to pandemic hit tourism sector

Morocco has approved a package of 2 billion dirhams ($220 million) to help the tourism sector manage the fallout of the pandemic, the tourism ministry said.

The emergency aid was approved in a meeting attended by the head of the government, tourism minister, and finance minister.

The package aims to mitigate the impact of a two-year-long crisis on the sector and help businesses keep jobs and prepare for recovery, the tourism ministry said in a statement.

Five main measures are included in this emergency aid including 1 billion dirhams dedicated to help hotels improve attractiveness and infrastructure.

Workers registered with the social fund will continue to receive 2000 dirhams monthly until March, while tourism enterprises will benefit from delaying loan payments and a government tax amnesty.

The tourism sector employs directly some 500,000 people and the number of indirect jobs offered by that sector is estimated at 2 million prior to the pandemic.

The sector generated $8 billion in revenue in 2019, when Morocco attracted 13 million people.

However, the Central bank said tourist receipts would not exceed $3 billion this year after the government shut borders to fight the new variants of the coronavirus.

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