Hamid Bentahar: The Tourism Sector in Morocco needs a Strong Recovery Strategy

“The fundamentals of our business remain good. The desire to travel will always be there, all the studies done both nationally and internationally prove it. But the sector needs a strong recovery strategy with sufficient resources, the will of the public authorities and the mobilization of all stakeholders, ”said Hamid Bentahar in an interview published Thursday by the daily“ L’Économiste ”.

These are the essential conditions to allow the Moroccan tourism industry to survive, resume growth and regain its place in the national economy, within 24 months, supported the president of the CNT, noting that this strategy must do everything in its power to help all players and companies of all sizes to recover from this crisis and, beyond that, to project themselves into the future. And to continue: “We cannot speak of a resumption of activity. In general, all sectors of the sector, namely tour operators, guides, hoteliers, restaurateurs, tourist transporters, etc. have been suffering the massive effects of the crisis for more than 16 months ”.

It is therefore essential, today, that we obtain the extension of measures to support employment and tourism businesses until the end of December 2021 ″, he insisted.

Hamid Bentahar suggests spreading the tax moratorium

Regarding support measures for the sector, Hamid Bentahar stressed that the discussions already carried out at the level of professional corporations provide for three urgent measures in the very short term to support businesses and jobs. First, it concerns social measures such as maintaining the CNSS system of the program contract and its extension to December 31, 2021, and the revision of the deadlines for the payments of social charges deferred and due in 2020 and 2021, from 2022 spread over 24 months.

For banking measures, he cited a profiling of the long-term banking schedule with the Professional Group of Banks of Morocco (GPBM) and the strengthening of the intervention of the Central Guarantee Fund (CCG), the postponement of leasing credits for companies in the transport sector as well as a deferral of loan repayments contracted by employees of the sector. As for the 3rd measure, it concerns taxation. “We are asking for a tax moratorium for 2020 and 2021, for local taxes, in particular business tax, as of January 1, 2022, spread over 24 months without costs or penalties,” he suggested.

He also noted that the tourism program contract was, in fact, counting on a gradual resumption of tourist activity while the current situation and the recent restrictive measures, which we understand, are moving us away from these objectives every day ”. And to conclude that: “Given the restrictive decisions adopted at the level of several of our source markets, it is likely that the world economy will henceforth be punctuated by regular border closings as well as stops and resumes for the next 12 months. “.

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