Morocco’s ambassador to Madagascar, Mohamed Benjilany, stressed, on July 27 in Mauritius, that the Kingdom is committed, in line with the High Directives of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, to strengthening and boosting tourism cooperation with other African countries.
Benjilany led a large Moroccan delegation to the 66th Meeting of the World Tourism Organization’s (WTO) Regional Commission for Africa, which took place on July 26 and 27 in Mauritius under the theme “Rethinking Tourism for Africa: Addressing Global Challenges and Promoting Investment and Partnerships.”
Following the presentation of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) 2022-2023 activities reports by its Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili, the Moroccan ambassador noted that Moroccan tourism has been in the process of recovering and returning to its 2019 performance.
In this regard, the Moroccan diplomat praised the efforts of African countries, which have proven their ability to adapt and react in difficult circumstances to ensure the tourism sector’s resilience.
Benjilany also outlined the actions undertaken by the Moroccan government to boost the tourism sector, notably through the adoption of a Strategic Roadmap for the Tourism Sector for the period 2023-2026, which aims to attract over 17 million tourists, achieve MAD 120 billion in foreign currency earnings, create 80.000 direct jobs and 120.000 indirect ones, in addition to repositioning tourism as a key sector in the national economy.
The Moroccan diplomat also highlighted the privileged partnership and cooperation between Morocco and the United Nations World Trade Organization (UNWTO), mirrored in the implementation of a new classification system for tourist hotels in Morocco for the period 2013-2024 and the facilitation of the recovery of the tourism sector following the COVID-19 pandemic for the period 2020-2023, through the improvement and strengthening of the Kingdom’s tourism performance.
For his part, Pololikashvili shed light on the partnership between Morocco and the World Trade Organization (WTO) in the field of tourism, which is reflected in the excellent organization and success of the 117th Session of the Executive Council of the World Tourism Organization (WTO), held between November 23 and 25 in Marrakech.
Other initiatives include a national startup competition to select the most innovative startups best suited to future tourism needs, as well as the presentation of the Best Tourist Village award to three Moroccan villages, namely Ksar El Khorbat in Errachidia and Moulay Bouzerktoune in Essaouira in 2022, and Sidi Kaouki in Essaouira in 2021.
On the sidelines of the Commission’s work, the Moroccan delegation held a meeting with WTO’s Secretary-General, during which the Moroccan diplomat praised Pololikashvili’s commendable efforts and contribution to the revival of the tourism industry in a post-COVID-19 phase.
Benjilany also thanked Pololikashvili and his team for their regular availability for discussions with their Moroccan counterparts, particularly on the opening of the Regional Tourism Office in Marrakech.
Morocco’s participation in this important United Nations (UN) tourism event was crowned by the Kingdom’s election to the Statistics Committee for the period 2023-2027.
This high-level meeting, which was attended by several African UNWTO member countries, was an opportunity to discuss the future development of tourism and its implications on the continent and to implement strategies to support the growth of the tourism sector for comprehensive socio-economic development.