Algeria Launches Visa-on-Arrival for Tourists

Algeria Launches Visa-on-Arrival for Tourists

Algeria, the vast yet under-touristed giant of North Africa, has taken a bold step: issuing visas upon arrival to attract more visitors and breathe new life into its struggling tourism sector. This decision comes after years of lagging behind neighbours like Morocco and Tunisia, who have built thriving tourism economies.

Benefits of Visa on Arrival

While boasting stunning landscapes and historical sites, Algeria's tourism sector has yet to catch up with its neighbours like Morocco and Tunisia. The complex visa process often discourages potential visitors. This new program aims to:

  • Reduce bureaucracy: Making travel more accessible and more spontaneous.
  • Boost tourist numbers: Injecting much-needed vibrancy into the local economy.
  • Showcase Algeria's potential: Highlighting its diverse offerings beyond the Sahara.


While the move simplifies the visa process, attracting tourists requires more than convenience. Several hurdles remain:

  • Limited Accommodation: Compared to Morocco's 231,000 tourist beds, Algeria's 127,000 fall short. Upgrading and expanding hospitality infrastructure is crucial.
  • Cost Comparison: Algerian tourism often faces criticism for being less affordable than neighbouring destinations, pushing vacationers towards Tunisia's more competitive pricing.
  • Security Concerns: Tourist groups currently require police escorts in the southern region, potentially impacting some visitors' sense of freedom and exploration.

Despite these challenges, optimism exists:

Recognising the need for improvement, the Algerian government actively encourages foreign investment in tourism infrastructure and partners with hospitality groups like Retaj Hotels to elevate tourism standards.

The Key to Success

While visa on arrival is a positive step, long-term success hinges on a multi-pronged approach:

  • Infrastructure investment: Building more and better hotels, resorts, and transportation options.
  • Competitive pricing: Ensuring value for money compared to regional competitors.
  • Safety and security improvements: Addressing concerns and enhancing the perception of safety for tourists.
  • Diversification of offerings: Highlighting unique experiences beyond the Sahara, showcasing cultural heritage, and promoting adventure activities.


Does the visa on arrival apply to the entire country?

Currently, it applies only to tourists visiting Algeria's southern region. For other areas, the regular visa application process still applies.

How do I book my trip through an authorised travel agency?

Check the Algerian Ministry of Tourism website or contact your local embassy for a list of accredited agencies. They will handle your visa and travel arrangements and ensure a guided experience in the south.

Is a police escort mandatory everywhere in the South?

Yes, for now, groups will be accompanied by police escorts for safety reasons. This may change in the future, depending on security assessments.

What documents do I need for the visa on arrival?

Have your passport (valid for at least 6 months), travel insurance, confirmed hotel bookings (arranged through the travel agency), and any additional documents requested by the agency.

Is Algeria safe for tourists?

The situation in Algeria has improved significantly in recent years. However, exercising caution and following your guide's instructions is crucial, especially in remote areas.

What are some must-see attractions in Algeria's south?

The Sahara Desert has breathtaking landscapes, Tassili n'Ajjer National Park has ancient rock paintings, the Hoggar Mountains have a unique geology, and the vibrant cultural experiences of Berber communities.

How to Apply for an Algeria eVisa

  • Step 1: Complete the online application form with your personal details and passport information.
  • Step 2: Proceed to securely make an online payment using your credit card.
  • Step 3: Check your email for the payment confirmation and your Algeria eVisa receipt, which will be sent electronically.
Get Your Algeria eVisa