Published on : Tuesday, January 9, 2018
Beaten up by a sharp drop in terms of international reserves, Algeria made tourism a prime sector to alleviate its financial condition from an acute oil dependency. But, little has been initiated to enhance the contribution of tourism in terms of GDP, which remains restricted to 1.4% back in 2016 with majority of visitors being Algerian expatriates returning to their homeland.
With 1600 kms of Mediterranean coastline along with well-known cultural and historical sites with vast desert, Algeria is gifted with possibilities that could easily turn out to be a leading tourist destination. Nonetheless, the country is failing to attain a reputation as a tourist friendly state as it carries on to be known for its lacking tourist infrastructure coupled with grave security issues.
The tourism sector has been secondary in Algeria ever since the country’s espousal of socialism. The civil war in 1990 gave a major blow to the already frail tourism sector of the country. As of 2008, authorities made of tourism a “national imperative” and fought back to develop the image of the country with the target to make bigger from 1.74 million tourists in 2007 to 20 million tourists by the end of 2025. A draconian goal when taking into account that only 2.4 million travelers visited the country last year in comparison to 11 million tourists for Morocco and about 7 million for Tunisia.
The weak infrastructure of the tourism sector is by large a harmful factor to the development of Algerian tourism which ranks 111th out of 136 countries in the World Economic Forum 2017, ranking offering 0.1 hotel room for 100 inhabitants.