Mohamed Amine Hadj Said, CEO of the NTA: “We are rebuilding the destination Algeria”


Amine Hadj Said: highlight the multifaceted tourist in Algeria


Appointed head of the Algerian National Tourist Office (NTO) since March 2011, Mohamed Amine Hadj Said is convinced that the image of Algeria destination has changed “positively”. The NTA has become more “offensive” and “relevant” in its communications work, he says.

For over a year since you’re the head of the NTA. What is your assessment of your mission?

It is reshaping the image of Algeria, and we see every day that this picture is changing positively. We felt, through our participation in international fairs in 2012, that the image of Algeria destination has changed significantly since we had always felt that wherever one went, foreigners were not the true idea of Algeria. This image was often distorted, altered, tainted negatively, so that made it a risky destination. The task of the NTA is to fight tooth and nail to show that the destination is Algeria serene, safe, stable, and very promising.

How do you do to change that image of Algeria?

Internationally, we work through the stands talking. Algeria travel now stand with all its doors. It does not merely one facet. Here we go with the doors of Timimoun, Djemila, the Casbah and the Mansura same time, and it highlights the door to the most appropriate recipients that we are targeting. In Italy, it highlights the door Djemila, in Germany it brings out the door Timimoun, because we know that the Germans are fond of the Sahara.

On top of that, we always try to be aggressive and relevant in our advocacy work, because it is not enough to distribute brochures. In all fairs where we were, we presented a paper on Algeria tourism, media in the presence of the host and tour operators. And it is through these media that we found the change.

Does this means an evolution in terms of foreign tourist flows?

To be objective, I will talk in terms of border entries. For the first quarter of 2012, we recorded an increase of 35% of entries at the border, compared to the same period of 2011. That means that if we maintain this momentum until the end of the year, we will reach 3.2 million border entries, including nearly a million foreigners, against 2.4 million in 2011.

What is the role of domestic tourism in the strategy of the ONT?

The NTA gives primary importance to domestic tourism. We organize “familiarization trips” in favor of the national media to affect the image of interest to Algerian citizens who do not have the chance to know them. Domestic tourism is a priority because it helps to inculcate the culture of tourism needed to develop our international tourism. This besides the fact that domestic tourism strengthens ties and cultural exchanges between different regions of our country.

What is the budget amount you spend on the promotion of the destination Algeria?

This is a fairly substantial budget, expected to increase gradually as the destination Algeria demand media most important. Our current resources are below those used by our neighbors Tunisia and Morocco because tourism is a real home industry. The difference is huge. We are rebuilding the destination Algeria. You can not go to campaigns with millions of dollars when you do not park hotel, worthy of the name, capable of receiving tourists lured by promotional campaigns.

Algerian tour operators talk about the bad publicity that are Tunisian and Moroccan operators to discourage European tourists who want to come to Algeria.Comment?

It’s almost fair game, given that tourism is an industry and commerce. I want to say however that many destinations are a bad eye awakening Algeria because of the destination that the tourist wants to discover something else. Tourist loyalty no longer exists, and all destinations are engaged in a sometimes unfair competition. If tourism in Algeria wakes up, believe me, it will be hard … We have much to manufacture products of extraordinarily diverse. We can bring tourists to the ski on snow Tikjda, the next he can ski to sea Tipaza before taking a plane to Bechar where he can ski on the golden dunes of Taghit. We have products to dream, and I do not know many countries that can afford them. It belongs to our professionals to market research and manufacture products that sell.

Any last words?

We love people who are at the heart of Algeria, and people who have the heart of Algeria, we are very pleased to welcome them at the heart of Algeria because our slogan, it is precisely “The journey of heart ” .

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