Tunisia: remarkable surge in Algerian tourist demand

The decision to reopen the borders between Tunisia and Algeria after a closure that lasted about two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic is an important opportunity for economic recovery in Tunisia through the return of Algerian tourist flows to the Tunisian neighbour.

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune officially announced last Tuesday the decision to reopen his country’s land borders with Tunisia. This decision will come into effect on July 15.

This measure, which was taken on the sidelines of President Kais Saied’s visit to Algeria on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of its independence, concerns the movement of passengers and cars, after having been limited to goods only, which, in their turn, returned to their status quo ante last May.

Without further ado, the Ministry of Tourism announced in a press release its assiduous availability to welcome Algerian tourists. Minister Mohamed El Moez Belhassine chaired a coordination meeting on Tuesday in the presence of a representative of the National Office for Land Border Crossings, and by VCT the representative of tourism in Algeria and the regional tourism delegate Tabarka – Ain Draham .

The Minister urged to take all the necessary measures and to coordinate fully with all the parties concerned for the reception of Algerian tourists so that they spend their holidays in the best conditions, especially at border crossings and in hotels.

A “step forward” for tourism

The president of the Tunisian Federation of Travel Agencies, Ahmed Bettaieb, said that the opening of borders with Algeria is a step forward for the sector and all tourist activities, but that it remains dependent on many factors, including the more important is how the various parties involved will manage the preparations for their reception, as this decision came relatively late.

In a statement to African Manager, Bettaieb pointed out that “at the moment it is not possible to provide figures relating to reservations…but what can be confirmed is that after the announcement of the decision to open the borders between the two countries, the demand for the Tunisian destination has increased significantly.

He indicated that demand has increased, particularly in the governorates of Nabeul (Hammamet), Sousse and Jendouba (Tabarka).

The same source pointed out that the overall proportion of Algerian tourists in Tunisia is 9% of total reservations.

Their return will also contribute to that of the economic dynamics in the border governorates and coastal cities at the level of small businesses, in addition to the return of the strong demand for apartments and houses in the seaside sites for rent.

July, but also August and September

It should be noted that in 2019, which is a reference year for the number of tourists, considering that the closure of the borders continued for two years, the number of Algerian tourists arriving in Tunisia reached around 3 million, knowing that the cities of Tabarka, Nabeul, Hammamet, Sousse, Monastir, followed by the island of Djerba, are the favorite tourist areas of Algerian tourists.

The arrival of Algerians in Tunisia is not limited only to the summer tourist season, but also includes New Year celebrations.

The regional president of the Tunisian Hotel Federation of Nabeul-Hammamet, Narjès Bouaskar, said that hoteliers hope that Algerian reservations will continue until after the summer season, that is to say during the months of September. and October, especially from the Tunisian domestic market. is unstable and that the Tunisian tourist is linked to the start of the school year.

In a statement to MosaiqueFm on Thursday, she confirmed that tourism stakeholders and hoteliers have been informed of the news of the reopening of borders by land to Algerian-Tunisian tourists from July 15, a decision that closes the unfortunate parenthesis. of the closure of the borders to Algerians and Tunisians on both sides for almost two years.