The Algerian government is set to halt the flow of tourists from the neighbouring country in a move that will effectively stop the country’s tourism industry from continuing.
The tourism sector, which employs nearly two million people in Algeria, is the most important industry in the country and has been the subject of fierce criticism by Algeria’s government.
Algeria has struggled to attract tourists since the Arab Spring uprisings of 2011 and 2013 and has struggled with a string of security challenges, particularly in the wake of a jihadist attack in April 2016 in the city of Talaat that left 32 people dead.
Algersia has long said that the planned closure of the Almansorir region, which stretches across the southern half of the country, will be temporary.
Tourism is a key sector for Algeria and contributes to the countrys export earnings and the local economy.
However, tourism revenue has been stagnant for years, especially in recent years due to a lack of infrastructure and security threats.
The Almansora region, located about 160 kilometres (100 miles) west of the capital, Algiers, has seen its number of tourists decrease by nearly 50 per cent since 2013.
The region is home to some of the world’s best-known restaurants, shops and cinemas.
But the region is also facing challenges such as a growing population and a deteriorating economy, which has contributed to a sharp drop in the number of visitors.
Al Jazeera’s James Reynolds, reporting from Algier, said Algeria’s Tourism Minister, Mohamed Bourahed, told Al Jazeera the decision would take effect on Tuesday.
“The ministry has announced that the Al Mansora region will be closed to all foreigners for the rest of this month and the next,” he said.
Allegations of security failures, including a botched rescue mission to rescue a group of Algerian journalists in November 2016, have fuelled fears that Algeria could be at risk of becoming a safe haven for jihadist groups.
In a letter to Al Jazeera, Bourahe said the decision was necessary to prevent a situation that could threaten tourism and economic activities in the region.
“It is the right and appropriate decision for the Al Sarkour region to be closed due to the threat of terrorism, extremism and terrorism in the area,” Bourahet wrote.
The minister also said the closure would affect tourism revenue, including the tourism industry’s share of the local tax, as well as its ability to fund the maintenance of public infrastructure.
Algiers has been under an all-out state of emergency since March 2016 when Islamist militants linked to Al Qaeda stormed the Al Mouadan theatre, killing more than 100 people.
The area was heavily guarded and heavily patrolled by security forces until a joint Algerian-Serbian force was able to enter the theatre.
Alkamat al-Holland, a security source told Al Arabiya English that Algeria has “a very high level of insecurity” and warned that “the situation will deteriorate.”
“The Algerian authorities are trying to make sure that they are not able to manage the situation,” said Abdelkader el-Ghadala, the head of the regional tourism authority, Al Mouadin.
“Tourism revenue is being threatened by the security situation, and tourism will become less attractive for the future,” he added.