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Algeria unveils reforms to attract visitors.

Summary: Algeria announced on Monday it was slashing taxes on tourism projects to persuade investors that the country, emerging from years of violence, could become a hot new holiday destination.

Algeria announced on Monday it was slashing taxes on tourism projects to persuade investors that the country, emerging from years of violence, could become a hot new holiday destination. <p>Algeria has thousands of kilometres of Mediterranean coastline a short flight from Europe and vast tracts of Saharan desert wilderness - yet only a trickle of foreign tourists.

Attacks by militants, though dramatically reduced in the past few years, have kept many visitors away, along with a lack of investment that has left oil-producing Algeria with a shortage of high-quality restaurants, resorts and hotels.

Tourism and Environment Minister Cherif Rahmani unveiled reforms that included tax cuts for tourist firms, low-interest bank loans for tourism investments, reduced customs tariffs, subsidised land and streamlined bureaucratic procedures.

"Of course we are aware that we are not yet at a world-class level, but we are in the process, little by little, of building Algeria as a destination," he said.

"We are going to put ourselves in a competitive position in relation to our neighbours, in terms of Algeria's attractiveness," he said.

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Publication:UMCI News (Potomac Falls, VA)
Date:Aug 20, 2009
Words:217
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