TOURISM IN ALGERIA: THE NUMBER OF TOURISTS TO DOUBLE

Denise Chen - Dec 18, 2017
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Minister of tourism in Algeria announced his plan to substantially increase the number of tourists. 4.4 million international tourists are expected in Algeria by 2027, in contrast to 2.4 million today.

The Minister of Tourism and Handicrafts, Hacène Mermouri, has been quoted by the Oxford Business Group (OBG), an international consulting firm, saying that 1,812 new hotel infrastructure projects have been approved by the Ministry. This series of projects is expected to increase the capacity to 240,000 beds, in contrast to the current 100,000, and create 99,000 jobs.

582 of the approved projects are already under construction, with an additional 75,300 beds at hand and the creation of about 36,000 direct jobs, according to Mr. Mermouri. All in all, 110 projects are expected to be completed by the end of the year.

The announcement of the Ministry represents a considerable advance for the tourism in Algeria, the new beds making it possible not only to strengthen the general reception capacity but also to lower prices and diversify the hotel offering.

Low hotel capacity has long been a major obstacle to the development of the sector. According to estimates published in the report "Competitiveness in the tourism and travel sector 2017" of the Global Economic Forum, Algeria has 0.1 hotel room per 100 inhabitants, which placed it in this category on the 111th place out of 136 countries.

Increasing the reception capacity of airports

Due to the expected rise in arrivals and number of tourists, several major Algerian airports are carrying out modernization work.

A new terminal at the Airport of Houari Boumediene in Algiers is expected to be functional by the second quarter of the next year, bringing the total annual capacity to 10 million passengers, compared to 6 million currently.

In addition, a new terminal is being built at the Airport of Ahmed Ben Bella in Oran, with an opening planned for next March, and an annual capacity that will increase from 2.5 million to 3.5 million passengers. These projects will enable Algeria to strengthen its capacity to receive international carriers.

Training is part of the development

New infrastructure projects are expected to result in the birth of thousands of jobs, so the government is currently promoting tourism as a sector with significant job creation potential.

TOURISM IN ALGERIA: THE NUMBER OF TOURISTS TO DOUBLE

Ttourism in Algeria is now paying more attention to vocational training, according to Lazhar Bounafaâ, CEO of the Group Hôtellerie Tourisme et Thermalisme, and the development of a qualified human capital is considered crucial for the future advancement in the sector.

"The sector needs to develop public-private partnerships in training and education to generate a workforce that hotel projects can benefit from and that can improve the productivity and performance of the sector."

Changing the image of Algeria

The image of Algeria as a potentially unsafe destination – governments in some key markets, such as France and the United States, discourage travel to certain areas of the country – keeps some potential visitors at bay.

Despite this, the number of visitors from France – the second largest tourist source market to Algeria – has risen steadily in recent years, from 121,000 in 2014 to 169,000 last year.

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