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Impact of international tourism on the economy of North Africa

Tourism has a significant place in international relations. About 500 million people visit foreign countries annually for tourism purposes. International tourism is not only a popular holiday destination but also an emerging area of ​​the world economy [1].

In the economy of an individual country, international tourism performs a number of important functions:

– is a source of foreign exchange earnings for the country and a means of securing employment;
– expands investment in the balance of payments and GNP of the country;
– promotes diversification of the economy, creating industries that serve the tourism sector;
– With increasing employment in tourism, the incomes of the population increase and the level of welfare of the nation increases.

International tourism in the world is developing rather unevenly, which is explained, first of all, by different levels of socio-economic development of individual countries and regions.

The North African countries are among the countries where tourism is developing at the fastest pace. The tourism industry has become here one of the leading sectors of the national economy, with its development related plans to lift the economy of countries [2].

Today, North Africa’s tourism is becoming fiercely competitive. However, it rather relies not on natural resources, but is more governed by science, technology, and information. This will continue to determine the competitiveness of countries in the tourism market.

According to UNWTO data, ten years can see the steady dynamics of inbound international tourism in Mon. Africa.

Analyzing the statistics for 2006-2015, it can be observed that in the region Mon. Africa had the highest international arrivals rate in 2014 – 19.8 million people (Figure 1), of whom 52% were tourists for recreation and leisure. Morocco and Tunisia remain leaders in the region. Undoubtedly, the main inhibiting factor for the development of international tourism in the region is Algeria and Sudan, where the main problem remains the unfavorable political situation in the middle of the countries, which poses a great danger for visitors.

International tourist arrivals to the countries of North Africa
Fig. 1. International tourist arrivals to the countries of North Africa (million people) for 2006-2015

Inbound geography statistics show that 40% of travelers travel to Mon. Africa comes from Europe.

In addition to its size, the amount of foreign currency inflows is important for determining the impact of international tourism on the economic development of the region.

The analysis shows that during 2006-2015 in the Mon. Africa shows ambiguous indicators of the impact of foreign tourism on the economic development of countries. The total value of services provided to foreign tourists during this period is $ 88.3 billion. USA [3]. Most of these services were provided in 2008, $ 10.7 billion. US $ 8.5 billion at least in 200b. United States (Fig. 2).

Proceeds from international tourist arrivals
Fig. 2. Revenues from international tourist arrivals (billion USD) for 2006-2015

Based on an analysis of the history and current trends of tourism development, it should be noted that the tourism industry of the North African countries, having a strong tourist and recreational potential, developed without taking into account the peculiarities of its functioning, deep penetration of the problems and in the absence of purposeful, comprehensive tourism policies of the state and management mechanisms . The reform of the state regulation of the industry has highlighted a number of problems that need to be addressed. This is, first of all, a mismatch between the current regulatory framework and the needs and trends of the tourism industry.

Overall country Mon. Africa has a strong potential for the development of foreign tourism. Studies have shown that the economies of countries such as Morocco and Tunisia are heavily dependent on foreign tourism, as it is a reliable source of foreign exchange earnings. The governments of these countries are paying attention to the development of recreational resources, seeing tourism as an important source of income and sometimes even the only way to achieve economic growth. However, it should be noted that the development of international tourism in the Mon. Africa, is directly proportional to the political situation.

In order to increase tourist inbound flows, it is necessary to intensify tourism marketing activities aimed at creating a positive image for the Mon. Africa as a region of safe and comfortable stay. Provided that political stability is settled in the country, the region under study can become one of the leading foreign tourism development providers in Africa and in the world as a whole.

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