ALGIERS - Algeria has set aside 56 billion dinars (560 million euros, $720 million) to modernise its hotels and thermal baths, the tourism minister said Thursday, as the country seeks to boost sectors besides oil.
"Eight thermal baths will be modernised and renovated at a cost of 12 billion dinars," Minister Smail Mimoune said on national radio.
"The remaining 44 billion dinars are for public hotels, which number 58."
The government is currently taking bids for the upgrades, the radio station reported.
The minister said Algeria currently has 95,000 hotel beds -- a number private-sector projects already under way aim to raise by 80,000.
The government is keen to find viable economic sectors other than oil and natural gas -- which the country currently depends on for nearly all its cash income -- and is working to draw foreign visitors to its spas and thermal baths.