Algerian Minister of Tourism and Handcrafts Hassan Mermouri on Thursday said his country is seeking to attract more Chinese tourists by easing the visa issuing procedures.
Mermouri said an agreement between Algeria and China to facilitate visa issuance for Chinese tourists will be inked before the end of March.
"The agreement has been outlined as it is due to be inked in Algeria before the end of the first quarter of this year," the APS news agency quoted Mermouri as saying on the sidelines of the opening of the 9th the International Tourism Fair being held in the western province of Oran.
In addition to the Chinese tourists, Algeria also seeks to attract tourists from other countries such as Russia and the countries of Eastern Europe, Mermouri said.
These steps are part of the ministry's strategy to promote Algeria as a destination for tourists in international markets and restore its place as a tourist destination of excellence, the minister noted.
Neighboring nations to Algeria, including Tunisia and Morocco, which are widely known of being tourist countries, have already facilitated visa issuance for Chinese nationals.
Algeria is aiming to diversify its economy to get rid of its full dependence on hydrocarbons, as tourism stands out as a potential sector that could generate new revenues regarding the huge tourism potential of this North African nation, including its 1,250-km Mediterranean coast, breathtaking mountainous regions, and a desert with prehistoric attractions.