The closure of Moroccan borders worries Parisian travel agencies

After the announcement of the closure of Moroccan air borders, travelers hurried to postpone their stay, get reimbursed for tickets or to secure a place on board a repatriation flight, as in front of this Air agency. France in Rabat, November 29, 2021 © Mosa'ab Elshamy, AP

Text by: RFI Follow

2 min

Since the announcement on November 25 of the closure of Morocco's air borders, due to the threat of the new Omicron variant of Covid-19, travel agencies have been inundated with requests for reimbursement or postponement of trips to the Cherifian kingdom and must compose as quickly as possible.

In Paris, many do not understand Rabat's decision and still fear serious economic consequences after nearly two years of health crisis.

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This travel agency specializing in the Maghreb and Africa in the Belleville district, in Paris, has been receiving dozens of calls a day

since Thursday, November 25

to find out how to be reimbursed for its trip to Morocco or to postpone it.

But for what date? The

suspension of flights

to France is scheduled for two weeks at the moment, so uncertainty dominates, Karim Gourade is a travel agent: “ 

As soon as they heard the news, all the customers came to see us. , to ask to change their tickets or

get a refund

. And those who were passing through Morocco, we found a solution for them through other airlines.

 "

For Kamel Boudjellal, commercial director of the El Djazaïr agency, this closure was completely unpredictable: “ 

We have had about ten cancellations per day since the announcement, especially people who have family, people who are leaving for the holidays.

So, afterwards, we have the next 15 days, afterwards, we have the month of December.

And there, it is incomprehensible on the part of the Moroccan government.

We can have a PCR test result in less than 24 hours in France, There is no logic in what has been done

!

 "

A misunderstanding shared by other professionals who today regret that the health pass, implemented in France, cannot avoid new border closures.

Travelers without a travel agency in a difficult situation

As with

Japan

or

Israel

, this closure of Moroccan air borders can have significant repercussions for tour operators, as well as for people who had decided to leave.

If some can " 

be taken care of

 " and be reimbursed or postponed their trip through travel agencies, " 

this is not the case for those

who are managing

 ", explains Valérie Boned, general secretary of the Syndicat des entreprises. of the trip (EdV).

There is a very significant impact, knowing that for the winter and Christmas holidays, reservations have been taken. There are destinations in Morocco, like Marrakech, which are truly Christmas holiday destinations. Those who went through a travel agency were lucky enough to be picked up. But this is not the case with those who manage. You know that in Morocco, there are sometimes a lot of customers who fend for themselves a little, who take their accommodation on one side, their ticket on the other. And compared to the other countries of destination, Japan, Israel which close their borders, there for the blow, in the same way, the repercussions are important, since the customers were frustrated last year, they are not parties in large numbers for Christmas. And we have the impression that we are seeing the same thing again.

According to Valérie Boned, general secretary of the Syndicate of travel companies, the closure of Moroccan air borders will have a very significant impact

Anne Verdaguer

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  • France

  • Morocco

  • Tourism

  • Coronavirus

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