Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Thomas Cook Fallout Impacts Morocco


The first impacts of the bankruptcy of the well known tour operator Thomas Cook on Morocco are felt.

According to initial information, and pending a more exhaustive assessment, it is being said that 1,000 tourists of different nationalities out of the 600,000 in the world are "stuck" and waiting to be repatriated from Morocco.

Jet Tours, the representative of the group in the Kingdom, who takes the crisis full force. This operator, which has two offices, one in Casablanca and the other in Marrakech, attracted on average 150,000 Thomas Cook customers per year to Morocco.

The result will have a negative impact across the tourism sector.

Morocco Sets Up Crisis Unit

The UK government will be repatriating the tourists currently in Morocco from September 25 to October 5 in a 4-part process.

British tourists in Morocco aside, the shutdown will also affect Morocco’s tourism industry and businesses. Moroccan tourism authorities have already created a crisis unit to manage the negative effects of the shutdown.

The shutdown also leaves dozens of hotels with unpaid bills from Thomas Cook. Experts in the industry told Le Matin an estimate 60-80 hotels will be affected, most of them in Marrakech and Agadir.

The crisis team comprises representatives from Morocco’s Ministry of Tourism, the hotel industry, travel agents, and Morocco’s National Office of Tourism. The goal is to work closely with British authorities to monitor and supervise the repatriation of Thomas Cook customers back to the UK.

The crisis unit immediately held a meeting, chaired by Abdellatif Kabbaj, president of the National Confederation of Tourism and also CEO of the Kenzi Hotels Group.

In Tunisia, where Thomas Cook was sending 150,000 tourists annually, the hotel industry is expecting a loss of €60 million. However, in comparison, Morocco was receiving only 70,000 tourists annually, and Kabbaj reassured the industry that the loss will be far less in Morocco, although he did not give an exact number.

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