Live – Covid-19: Lifting restrictions revives activity in the UK

Tourism in Tunisia and Morocco

At the time of the assessments, in Tunisia as in Morocco, the mood was bleak: the 2021 season gave little oxygen to a sector devastated by the Covid-19 virus.

Heikal Akrout, director of the luxury Bel Azur hotel for more than 20 years, tells AFP that “2021 is better than 2020 (…) but it is still half of 2019, due to restrictions” related to Covid-19. After an epidemic in July, its 1,000-bed hotel was forced to halve its capacity, Tunisia found itself in the red zone of all of Europe, where the usual tourists come from, especially the French, Germans and Italians.

The 2021 season saw “very little improvement. But compared to 2020 – a disastrous year with a drop of 80% – we are very far from normal activity with an increase of 11% this year”, assures “AFP” Dora Melad, president of the FTH Hotel Association.

In good years like 2019, with 9 million overnights, tourism represented up to 14% of GDP, supporting 2 million Tunisians. It also depends on the sector, Morocco saw a relative improvement after the reopening of the borders in mid-June. The country recorded more than 3.5 million admissions at the end of August versus 2.2 million a year earlier, but four times less than in 2019 (13 million).

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