Hoteliers in Tunisia and Morocco are hoping to put an end to the Covid slump.
The sands of Hammamet beach on Tunisia’s east coast are warm in October, but the coronavirus pandemic continues to throw a shadow, and visitor numbers have yet to recover.
Operators in Tunisia and Morocco are licking their wounds after two disastrous seasons in a succession, hoping that the relaxation of travel restrictions will bring brighter days.
This year has been better than the previous one “which was a very awful season. However, 2021 was only half as wonderful as 2019 “The Bel Azur hotel’s Haykel Akrout stated.
In July, a spike in coronavirus infections hit Tunisia, and the luxury facility, with swimming pools facing rows of deckchairs along the shore, had to decrease its capacity of 1,000 beds.
The country was placed on European countries’ blacklists, making it almost hard for tourists from important markets such as France, Germany, and Italy to visit.
However, as limitations have loosened, some people have been able to go to the North African country.
Elena Bakurova travelled here from Vladivostok, Russia’s far east, to “experience Africa” and celebrate her 44th birthday.
Yanis Merabti, a resident of Lyon, France, said he chose Tunisia for the price and the weather.
“In October, France is not like this. It’s too cold to go to the beach or enjoy the sun “he stated “It’s really pleasant here.” According to Akrout, the hotel was about 30 percent full, with Russians accounting for nearly half of that.
“We’re talking about survival here — it’s not profitable,” he explained.
The “catastrophic” 2020 season, according to Dora Milad, chairwoman of the FTH hoteliers’ association, has ravaged the sector, with hotel stays down by 80%.
According to her, this year’s increase was 11%. “That’s a little better… but it’s still not quite right.” Tunisia logs over nine million hotel stays in a good year like 2019, and the tourist sector accounts for up to 14 percent of GDP, creating jobs for around two million Tunisians.
Morocco’s beach resorts and medieval hinterland cities are likewise largely reliant on tourists.
When the country reopened its borders in June after months of lockdown, a small influx of tourists arrived.
By the end of August, the country had had almost 3.5 million visitors, up from 2.2 million the year before.
However, this is still a far cry from the 13 million people who registered in the same period in 2019.
Morocco was obliged to apply new limitations, such as restricting, as a result of its own rising Covid-19 burden. The Washington Newsday Brief News is a daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C.