The rate of growth of the number of tourists from Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries visiting Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia was more resilient than for total tourist arrivals in 2015, according to data from the Statistical, Economic, and Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries (SESRIC).
The rate of growth for overall tourist arrivals dropped for all four countries in 2015, with Algeria (-25.68 pct) and Tunisia (-25.19 pct) worst hit, followed by Egypt (-5.08 pct) and Morocco (-1.03 pct).
In contrast, three of the four North African countries saw positive growth in intra-OIC arrivals.
Algeria enjoyed the highest rate of growth of 21.78 percent in intra-OIC arrivals, followed by Morocco at 2.75 percent. Egypt saw only a nudge up in growth, at 0.06 percent.
However, Tunisia's intra-OIC tourist arrivals dropped 10.86 percent in 2015 but this still compares favourably with the 25.19 percent plunge in its total tourist arrivals for the same year.
Tunisia's tourism industry was hit hard in 2015 after several European tour companies and cruise operators suspended operations following the incident in June when a gunman killed 38 holidaymakers on a beach resort in Sousse.
|% TOURIST ARRIVALS GROWTH ALGERIA, EGYPT, MOROCCO, TUNISIA 2012-15
|Data source: Salaam Gateway analysis of SESRIC data
As a result, OIC arrivals as a percentage of total arrivals surged 15.9 percent for Algeria in 2015, reaching 40.73 percent as fewer OIC tourists stayed away.
Tunisia trails Algeria on this metric, registering a more modest 8.47 percent increase in OIC arrivals as a percentage of total arrivals in 2015.
Algeria has long trailed its North African neighbours in tourism, with government under-investment often blamed as the main culprit.
The oil-reliant economy is now speeding up diversification efforts and last year approved a new investment law to improve its business climate, including tax cuts in tourism, which has been identified as a priority sector.
2016 figures are not yet available from SESRIC.
© SalaamGateway.com 2017 All Rights Reserved