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Sahara Travel Forum Topics specific to North Africa and the Sahara down to the 17th parallel (excludes Morocco)
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Desert Travels - Motorcycle Journeys in the Sahara and West Africa!

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  #1  
Old 10 Jul 2004
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Algeria - more popular than Disneyland?

It will be soon if you believe this...

http://www.algeria-interface.com/new...6.hi4szex6.xml

CS
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  #2  
Old 10 Jul 2004
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Chris,

That's not impossible. According toi WtO, arrivals to Tunisia and Morocco grew by 20% since last year, so Algeria's 12% rise is credible. Some confusion is created by putting expats and foreigners into the category of tourists.

Apart from that, 74000 foreign arrivals normally contains a large proportion of business visitors.

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  #3  
Old 12 Jul 2004
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I investigated the WTO figures a couple of years ago when Tearfund published a map showing North Korea, Nigeria and Syria as major tourist destinations, whereas The Gambia, Namibia, The Seychelles, etc did not appear.

I discovered that the WTO figures are in fact the number of international arrivals. So they include all expatriates returning home (for whatever reason), business travellers, and all diplomats.

I copied the WTO statistics for Algeria 2000 into a spreadsheet, corrected some of the obvious errors (according to the WTO Libya is not in Africa), and recalculated the numbers removing nationals and people from neighbouring countries. This changed the number of business and tourist visits from 865,984 to 66,304. Clearly many of the remaining 66,304 were people working in the Oil & Gas industry, diplomats, etc. The actual number of foreign tourists in the year 2000 was probably about two or three thousand.

According to the WTO, North Korea has over 5,000,000 tourists! So Algeria has a lot of catching up to do.
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  #4  
Old 12 Jul 2004
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... was probably about two or three thousand"

That's what I heard - and that was a good year - as we all suspect it is now as bad as ever despite what official stats claim.

IMO, one cannot compare tourism trends in long time mainstream Maroc and Tunisia with Alg. And did they really 'grow' in M&T or did they return to pre-hightened Islamophobia levels...

Anyway, it was all a bit of trivia to highlight what b/s we are fed in the name of official stats.

Ch
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  #5  
Old 12 Jul 2004
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From Algerian sources (credible, but without hard figures) I got an estimate of approx. 8000 for 2002: independant travellers and groups flown to Tam or Djanet to go camel riding, etc.

2003 should have started better (until hostage crisis), and with the guide regulations from december onwards, there are dozens instread of thousands.

Regards,
Peter
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  #6  
Old 12 Jul 2004
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Hi guys,

I know it's not pertinent to Sahara exploration, but just to clarify the point of tourism statistics: WTO depends on the data supplied by governments who always tend to err on the high side.

The main problem WTO has is how to define "tourism". The number of people who visits a foreign country for a week or two, doing only sighseeing, spending big money at holiday resorts and having good time, would not justify the existence of the tourism industry, in Algeria and America alike.

From the industry's point of view the main reason for counting people as tourists is that visitors generate revenue because they need to buy things away from home.

So, WTO's definition is - a person visiting a foreign country for at least one day and night, regardless of the purpose of visit.

It's a different thing to count visitors to see which country is the most popular desitnation. However, from the country's economic point of view, one million backpackers will count as much as a few thousand business visitors staying at five star hotels.

Ex- pats may not be tourists because they don't come to do sightseeing (so they muddle the picture from the popularity contest point of view) but they also need to spend money, so why should they be excluded?

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[This message has been edited by Roman (edited 12 July 2004).]
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  #7  
Old 15 Aug 2004
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Hi,

How safe is Algeria? i have heard that the south is definately worth seeing but you need to avoid the north. yet to get tyhe vis to the next country you have to go to tha capital dont you? and from what i have read on web sites not a safe place to be?

Any advice?

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  #8  
Old 16 Aug 2004
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Generally, you are right. But Algerian officials imposed very strict limits for the south (travel limited to roads, no overnight stop in the dunes, etc.). Just wait and see, the Algerian Sahara isnt't running away.

Regards,
Peter
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  #9  
Old 16 Aug 2004
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Assuming your prefered mode of travel is possible, there are consulates for Mali and Niger in Tamanrasset, so you dont need to go to Algiers.

Ch
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  #10  
Old 17 Aug 2004
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thanks if we can see the south with out having to worry about possible dangers in the north that would be great. . . .
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