Morocco plans $220 million package to help Covid-hit tourism sector

Morocco plans $220 million package to help Covid-hit tourism sector
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Morocco will provide financial aid to the tourism industry hammered by Covid-19 restrictions
Morocco's tourism-reliant economy has been heavily hit by Covid-19 restrictions [AFP/Getty- archive]

Morocco will provide 2 billion dirhams ($220 million) in aid to help tourism businesses and workers cope with Covid-19 restrictions, the tourism ministry said on Tuesday.

Morocco has kept its borders shut since late November and reinforced its vaccine pass requirements in response to the Omicron coronavirus variant.

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The aid package includes 1 billion dirhams to help hotels renovate and stay afloat after a 22-month-long crisis, and a 2,000 dirham monthly payment in the first quarter of this year to affected workers, the ministry said in a statement.

Other measures include loan payment deferrals and a local tax waiver for 2020 and 2021.

Tourism generated $8 billion, or 7% of Morocco's economy, in 2019, when the country received 13 million tourists. But the central bank expects it to have made only $3.6 billion last year.

(Reuters)