Algeria to issue visas on arrival to tourists

 Monday, January 23, 2023 

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In a bid to revive its battered tourism industry, Algeria has planned to issue visas on arrival to tourists heading to its south. This move aims to reduce red-tapism and enrich travel experience for inbound tourists which in turn will boost the tourism sector which was severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.


According to the country’s Interior Ministry’s official document, tourists must make their travel arrangements, including tickets and hotel bookings through sanctioned tour operators working in Algeria, and are to be escorted by the police in the southern region.


Tourism contributes only 1.5 percent to the North African country’s gross domestic product, which is much less than its neighboring country Tunisia where tourism contributes 14 percent to the country’s GDP.


Every summer, more than a million Algerians travel to Tunisia for their holidays. The reason being, they have a wider choice range at a more affordable cost in Tunisia. However, the Algerian government is aware of these issues and taking necessary steps to address the problems.


One such step is encouraging foreign investors to finance and build tourist facilities to revitalize tourism and increase its contribution to the country’s economy. Recently, Qatar’s Retaj Hotels and Hospitality signed an agreement with the Algerian state-owned HTT to mobilize financing. Retaj will also make hotel management services available for HTT’s 73 hotels across the country.


Algeria is Africa’s biggest country by surface area. It comprises a major chunk of the Sahara including nature reserves and prehistoric sites. It also boasts 1,200 km of the Mediterranean coastline and several historical cities.


But the North African country hosts far fewer tourists than its neighbors, Morocco and Tunisia, relying instead on its vast oil and gas revenues.

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