North African countries have been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic. The tourism industries of countries like Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia are on the verge of default. But, some experts seem to be seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.
Egyptian hoteliers have expressed hope that COVID-19 seems to be under control in Egypt, as international flights are gradually resuming. The country has already restarted regular flights with Russia, its most market segment. Popular attractions like the famous pyramids have already begun to welcome tourists again. And hotel occupancy is creeping upward. Even so, Christmas celebrations at Red Sea hotels are already canceled owing to low interest. Good news also comes in the form of India-based OYO Hotels and Homes expanding its footprint into Egypt.
In Morocco, International flights also have returned with European low-fare carrier Ryanair rebooting 58 weekly flights on 45 routes to Belgium, France, United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Portugal. So, hoteliers in that North African country seem justified in thinking the worst may be over. This is particularly true if the coronavirus vaccine gets distributed quickly. Also, the Moroccan airline Royal Air Maroc (RAM) is launching over the next five months fifteen new routes towards France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Belgium, and the United Kingdom.
Tunisia has a similar situation, only slightly more negative since international tourists are not even expected until the middle of 2021. This is largely because a big chunk of Tunisian supply is rooted in large all-inclusive resorts and hotels, rather than the smaller units the new traveler is seeking these days. In Tunisia, many big hotels are shuttered, and many of those may not even open again until new owners take control. The only good news for Tunisia is that the U.S. and the E.U. intend on pumping €100 million into the industry to help. Hilton is already moving to fill the void.