Tourism Development Strategy Horizon 2025
As the largest country in the Mediterranean region, and the second largest in Africa, Algeria has vast areas of unspoiled territory and visitors to the country can choose to explore the approximately 1,200 km of spectacular coastline, trek into the magnificent Sahara desert and discover the ancient traditions and culture of the various peoples who call this North African country home.
Although many who have visited agree that Algeria has much to offer, its tumultuous past, along with its underdeveloped tourism infrastructure and other factors, have impacted negatively on tourism and statistics reveal that the industry only accounts for around 2 percent of the country’s GDP. In an effort to boost tourism in Algeria, in 2008 the government launched a strategy referred to as “Horizon 2025” in which it particularly addressed the world class accommodation and other tourism-related infrastructure. Algeria is well equipped with regard to general infrastructure, as it has 131 airports, of which 53 are international, a railway network of 14,500 km serviced by more than 2,200 stations, 73 harbors and a network of roughly 190,000 kilometers.
When the Horizon 2025 strategy was drawn up it was acknowledged that existing hotels need to be assisted to attain international standards, while new hotels needed to be built. Also, the country’s unique qualities, such as the best ancient Roman sites outside Europe, therapeutic hot springs, the Sahara desert, rock and mountain climbing opportunities, arts and crafts, among others need to be promoted worldwide. Interested parties have also noted that personalized tourism in which travel, accommodation, activities and excursions are tailor-made for visiting tourists is also important.
At the SITEV (Salon International du Tourism et des Voyages) exhibition held in Algiers in 2013, an agreement between Algeria and the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) was reached with regard to establishing reliable statistics for the tourism sector, as well as improving the system for rating the quality of hotels and other tourism related establishments and ensuring ongoing compliance with these standards – all factors taken into account in Horizon 2025.
In addition to attracting visitors from outside the country, the majority traveling from France and Tunisia, domestic tourism shows promise for growth as Algerians take time to enjoy the sights, history and culture of their homeland.