Hope for the New Year?

Handling the impact of travel bans due to the Coronavirus pandemic

On March 14, 2020 Morocco said it would halt flights to and from 25 countries, extending an earlier ban that covered China, Spain, Italy, France and Algeria.

Our custom private tour company was still hosting several tours as the bans fell into place. My coworkers and I worked together to help travellers find a way home as options narrowed.  The news of the travel restrictions impacted everyone differently.  Some felt a profound urgency to get home while others gave their names to their embassies, soaked up the final days of their tour and seemed unconcerned.  

The impact for me hit once the rush of getting clients home had been accomplished.  I knew that during this pandemic, one of the hardest hit sectors would be the travel industry.  Would we be open again by our next high season in the Fall 2020?  How many of our tours would need to cancel?  These were the questions running through my mind – but I didn’t anticipate that EVERY tour for the rest of 2020 would be cancelled.  

Our tour company was hard hit but so too were those whose livelihood rested on tourism. I thought of the drivers who consistently drive for our clients – now completely out of work.  I wondered which of the small riads and hotels would survive the drought of tourism.  

We are still here, however, nine months later and we are planning for the future.  So many of you, our clients, have been checking in with us to see how we are.  Thank you for that!  Thank you for your comments on social media, your personal emails, and your generosity to the drivers who work with us.  You have been thoughtful and encouraging and we can’t thank you enough!

I walk down the streets in Fez which are more quiet than usual, but I see some travellers starting to make their way back to these ancient medina’s streets.  I’m grateful to be out again, these early December days, after the many months of quarantine.  I have to say, the house seemed smaller with all of us working from home as well as homeschooling our children. However … the open air seems even bigger after being tucked home for so long.  I just returned from a trip to the Sahara Desert this week with my wife and children and the pristine nature of the desert untouched by tourism for these last months allowed for some magnificent photos.  Our Luxury tent options are operating normally again and ready to welcome other travellers.  Our family relished just being able to travel again and see these spectacular sites in this country where we have the privilege of living.  

I anticipate that travel as well will be even more treasured because of the restrictions that have kept us from it for so long.  Already, we have begun to see more bookings for the New Year and we are hopeful! Our team has been staying in touch with clients who are looking to rebook cancelled tours. We’ve also been preparing for those who are booking new with us.  With news of a vaccine on the horizon, we know many of you, like us, can’t wait for travel to be the norm once again.  

We have been helping many of you plan and dream and are offering risk free deposits so you have peace of mind as you look ahead. So, if you haven’t yet, feel free to get in touch with us NOW so you’ll be ready to travel LATER. We’ll be happy to help you put your next custom private tour together for Morocco.   

For up to date details on travel restrictions from the Moroccan Government go to: https://ma.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/

For up to date details regarding flights with Royal Air Maroc (one of the most frequently used airlines to fly into Morocco) go to https://www.royalairmaroc.com/de-en/information/delays-and-disruptions

We are ready for you! 

Aaron

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