Thousands of French and Polish people are racing to obtain a visa to enter the Algerian SAHARA desert for tourism purposes, at a time when the atmosphere is still closed due to the outbreak of the Corona virus, with 3 French companies filing applications this August to enable their citizens and Polish citizens to enter the Algerian desert by next December, a step that the tourist agencies depend on as Algerian tourist agencies seek to save the upcoming tourist season.
The chairman of the National Union of Tourist Agencies, Bashir Djribi, said that the summer season for tourism and travel agencies wrapped up before it started because of the Corona virus pandemic, which cast a shadow over the activity of institutions in the field, which suffer from the specter of bankruptcy, noting that the government’s decision to gradually open the beaches, and the same thing for the borders if they are finally opened, nothing will change for the tourist agencies, especially since the summer season is nearing completion and preparations need more than two months.
According to the latter, his services did not receive any response from the Prime Ministry regarding the demands that it made to save tourism agencies and travel from the brink of bankruptcy, revealing in this context that there are more than 6 thousand families suffering from poverty as a result of the total cessation of the activity of tourism agencies, calling on Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerad to provide clarifications regarding the agencies’ dire situation … in addition to the problem of labor shortage, due to the severe depletion that the sector has been subjected to since the beginning of the crisis, saying “the return of tourism activity to what it was like in the past, requires at least 4 years”.
The spokesman believes that the only solution to save the season from the white year is to support desert tourism, or what is known as the “winter season” which is at the doors, by facilitating the granting of visas to those wishing to enjoy tourism in the Algerian Sahara desert, saying: “French and Polish companies have contacted us to start preparations regarding the winter season”.
“We therefore urge the government to facilitate the process of obtaining these visas to enter Algeria, especially since this issue has always been an obstacle to the development of national tourism due to bureaucratic procedures, and the same is true for the activation of the Supreme Council of Tourism that was established 25 years ago and was activated once in its history”, he noted.
Regarding the Umrah or small pilgrimage season, which is one of the most lucrative activities for tourist agencies, our interlocutor said that the Saudi authorities have not yet released the calendar for this season, and if the borders are re-opened, tourism and travel agencies cannot compensate for the financial losses incurred.