Moroccan Tourism

Operation Marhaba 2021: Morocco Welcomes Back its Diaspora

Marhaba Operation 2021

After more than 15 months of exceptional travel restrictions and halted activity due COVID-19 preventative measures.  Summer 2021 brings with it a much hoped-for relaunch of the tourism sector in Morocco and positive news for Moroccans living abroad (MRE), the majority of whom haven’t been able to reconnect with their families since the initial outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following the  National Tourism  Confederation’s (CNT) recent  meeting to outline the  recovery plan for Morocco’s tourism industry and set up the reception policy for Moroccans residing abroad , The Mohammed V Foundation for Solidarity launched the 2021 edition of its Marhaba Operation on June 15th 2021 under the effective presidency of his Majesty king Mohammed VI.

Introducing The Marhaba Operation

The Marhaba Operation is an annual humanitarian assistance program for the Moroccan community living abroad. It spans from June 5th to September 15th of each year.

The main functionality of the program is to ensure the best travel conditions for Moroccan citizens returning to Morocco during the summer period through dedicated reception areas operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Due to the global health crisis, this year, support has been upscaled to better assist Moroccans living abroad   throughout their travel. 

A support team of 6 to 8 people made up of foundation executives, healthcare workers, and national security personnels will be present in each border crossing to facilitate medical and administrative processes to guarantee the convenience and safety of travel.

Reception Sites in Morocco & Abroad

For the first time in years, Spanish ports such as Ceuta, Melilla, and Almeria   have been excluded from this year’s program leaving Pperation Marhaba 2021 with a total of 15 reception sites in Morocco, France, and Italy.

Reception sites in Morocco include, Tangier Med Port, Port of Nador, Port of Al Hoceima, Mediterranean rest area (on the Tangier’s highway), Jebha rest area, Tazaghine rest area, Casablanca Mohammed V Airport, Tangier Ibn Battouta Airport, Oujda Angad airport, Fés Saiss Airport, Marrakech Menara Airport, Agadir Al Massira Airport. 

Reception sites abroad are Sète and Marseille ports in France and Genoa port in Italy.

Marhaba  Operation Practical Protocols

To ensure the safety of everyone involved, the  Marhaba guide 2021 lists the following practical guidelines:

●     It is recommended that you schedule your arrival and departure outside of peak periods. That is, the 1st week of July, Eid al Adha, the 1st and 4th week of August, and 1st week of September.

●     It is necessary that you possess a negative PCR test taken no earlier than 48 hours of the date of entry into Moroccan national territory (this concerns Moroccan nationals classified in List A previously published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs)  Note that operation Marhaba is equipped with mobile Covid-19 analysis laboratories. Thus, in addition to the PCR test presented upon boarding, you may be subjected to PCR tests if symptoms are present.

●     If you are vaccinated against COVID-19, make sure to bring your vaccination certificate (this also concerns Moroccan nationals classified in List A).

●     Learn and stay up-to-date with the latest national travel protocols, curfew and travel rules inside Morocco and obtain any necessary permits in advance.

Last Sunday, King Mohammed VI instructed transportation and accommodation stakeholders to offer their services to MRE at reduced and affordable prices to facilitate their return to Morocco this summer. 

Following his majesty’s orders, a number of transportation companies have gotten involved in the success of Operation Marhaba 2021; Maritime companies in Morocco have dropped their ticket prices to 995 € for long-haul lines and 450 € for medium-haul lines for families of 4.

Royal Air Maroc (RAM) has similarly reduced its flight prices up to 97 Є per passenger for families of 4+ and a 150 Є per individual passenger (Search and Book Cheap Flights to Morocco).

As a result, in less than 24 hours, Royal Air Maroc hit sales records with 120,000 flights booked by Moroccans living abroad. Consequently, RAM announced on its twitter page that additional flights from   Brussels, Paris Roissy, Frankfort, Amsterdam, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Lyon will be available from the 1st to 7th of July, and return flights will be scheduled from 5th to 8th of August.                                                                      

In the same vein, to encourage the return of MREs this summer, CNT has instructed the hotel industry   to adhere to measures supporting the return of MREs.

Leading the way is the  Accor group   with its summer discount offering a 30% discount on hotel stays around Morocco lasting until September 15th 2021.

A team of ambitious people write about the Moroccan tourism and share the knowledge about the beauty of Morocco.

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