Following decades without investment, there are signs of renewed interest in Algeria’s hotel sector, according to media reports.
The Ministry of Tourism has indicated that there are 300 hotel projects in the pipeline, which would give Algeria an additional 20,000 beds.
These projects, most of which should be operating by 2008, are desperately needed, a report said quoting a tourism spokesman. At present, the country has a total of 1,004 hotels, over 800 of which are not classified. Only ten of the hotels are classified as five-star.
The first sign of renewed interest in Algeria’s hotel industry from private sector foreign investors came in 2005 when Algerian group Mehri formed a partnership with French group Accor to construct 36 hotels. The project will include the development of the Ibis brand throughout Algeria.
The government is accelerating the privatisation of the county’s state-owned hotels and, in May 2006, opened the management of 14 properties to private bidders. Hotels along the coast from Sidi Fredj to Tipasa have generated interest from the Korean company Hyundai.
In another move, the government has asked existing hotel operators to renovate their properties with a view to future privatisation. However, many operators have not complied with the new state regulations and the government closed some 20 hotels in Algiers last year and issued warnings to another 37.
In Oran, Algeria’s second largest city, up to 28 hotels have been warned to improve their facilities immediately or face closure.