July 19, 2024


Built General Tough

Domestic tourism, the ultimate lifeline

Travel agencies facing the crisis

Local products are undeniably an excellent way to both boost the tourist offer and help people discover a region, territory or tourist center.

Po revive national tourism, local festivals can constitute a good product of appeal, especially since Algeria has a good card to play in this field.

Local products are undeniably an excellent way to both boost the tourist offer and help people discover a region, territory or tourist center.

It is a vein to be exploited in the current context where travel agencies are in turmoil and where there is a strong need to go back to basics and search for authenticity.

Several regions offer several movements for a change of scenery. People have been confined, they will seek to ventilate. Our territories are rich and offer this possibility. Uncertainty about mobility and economic constraints point to predominantly domestic, or even “intra-regional” tourism.

Travel agencies are surfing on a certain number of needs: reassurance in the face of the crisis, the loss of landmarks and the quest for emotions (a taste of tradition).

Local festivals are numerous with us. The Maoussim of Taghit is celebrated at the end of each month of October, for the harvest of the date, the main resource of the Saoura.

This festival, whose existence dates back more than 19 centuries, lasts 3 days during which you can hear the sounds of bendir, goumbri and songs.

Coinciding with the feast of Mawlid (celebration of the birth of the Prophet), the feast of S’Boue, which lasts seven days and seven nights, punctuated by the sound of karkabous, has become over the years a tourist attraction with tours to through the old ksour and palm groves of Gourara.

Three-day festival, celebrating spring and preceding the arrival of the great summer heat and sand winds, Tafsit in Tamanrasset has become over the years a giant fair where tourists find themselves on pilgrimage.

Affected by the crisis and reduced to a standstill for several months because of Covid-19, tourist agencies are trying to survive.

Many have put the key under the doormat, others, heavily in debt, have sold their equipment. Discussions with the Ministry of Tourism are still ongoing. However, they have so far not led to anything concrete.

Having relegated domestic tourism to the background, it is now the lifeline, the last resort to avoid shipwreck. It must be said that this option is not really an enlightened choice but the only way of salvation which allows us to hold out and hope for a return to growth.

The South is coming back to life

“The agencies no longer have a choice and have focused all their energy and all their know-how acquired in outgoing (travel abroad) on the national market and this gives good results for those who have decided to do domestic tourism.

Many tour operators were reluctant, did not go to the seaside resort and were still hesitating but I think that everyone will join the adventure on the Saharan, at least that’s my opinion ”, says Mustapha Bendali Braham, founding director of the reservation center Nreservi.com.

The agencies have focused too much on outgoing, but this type of tourism is sensitive to crises, unlike internal tourism which is resilient.

“That’s right, but travel agencies focus on demand and demand was directed beyond our borders. It is somewhat the responsibility of our hoteliers and ministry.

I am in direct contact with the hoteliers and I can already say that everything needs to be redone at home in terms of work process and sales policy, outside of the standards, they work as their heads dictate, especially with the private sector. Public hotels, meanwhile, still have an archaic working method.

They had the ease of waiting for purchase orders from companies without the slightest effort ”, specifies Mustapha. So, will local and religious festivals be able to boost domestic tourism?

Several offers were proposed for Mawlid Ennabawi in Ghardaïa, Biskra, Bou Saâda, Timimoun, El-Oued, Taghit and Bénis Abbès. All the ingredients have been gathered to whet the tourist’s appetite: safari (outing in the desert all day), visit to certain heritage sites, magical sunset, camel ride, local festivities and rifle shots (baroud) .

The ONAT highlighted other arguments to seduce: the need for calm, serenity, authenticity and to reconnect with nature. And the prices were really lowered: Timimoun (26,000 DA / person), Biskra (15,000 DA / person), Ghardaia / Zelfana (from 16,000 DA).

Zyriab Voyages agency “makes your dreams a trip”. At least, that’s what Brahim Aflah Hadj Nacer promises. General manager.

Its program of Mawlid El Nabaoui in Ghardaïa offered a discovery of a mosaic of colors and ancestral traditions.

In Beni-Isguen, the ancient and holy city, the festivities marking the celebration of the birth of the prophet take on a singular aspect, based on a tradition well established for centuries: a luminous parade with traditional oil lamps, known in the local dialect under the name of “Inarene”, organized on the eve of the anniversary of the prophet’s birth.

The manager of the agency understood well that it is necessary to make of this kind of demonstration “A motivation and a sales argument”.

However, the experts note, it is a question of finding mechanisms between hoteliers, transporters and tour operators, producers and retailers to exploit and market these products over time, for example according to the seasons. However, local festivals remain one-off events.

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