'Principles of architectural organization and development of tourism objects in the coastal areas (Bejaia City, Algeria)' - 'Urban Studies' - NotaBene.ru
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Urban Studies

Principles of architectural organization and development of tourism objects in the coastal areas (Bejaia City, Algeria)

Khettou Djamal

Postgraduate student, the department of Architecture, People’s University of Friendship of Russia

117198, Russia, Moskva oblast', g. Moscow, ul. Miklukho Maklaya, 06

Other publications by this author

Razin Andrey Dionisovich

PhD in Architecture

Docent, the department of Architecture, People’s University of Friendship of Russia

117198, Russia, Moscow oblast', g. Moscow, ul. Miklukho Maklaya, 6








Abstract: Currently, there is a high global demand for tourism objects. With its landscapes and Mediterranean Sea coastal areas, Algeria is well positioned for the construction of tourism objects, especially within the coastline. These places become as frequented by tourists as Europe. Moreover, two-thirds of Algerian population reside in the area, which generated uncontrolled urbanization. One of such coastal districts is Bejaia. The Bejaya region covers an area of 785 km2 and has a high potential for tourism ensured by the coastline of over 100 km. The region has a shortage of tourism objects and infrastructure, as well as problems of preservation of the surrounding environment. The article considers the question of sustainable development of tourism in Bejaia, as well as the various options for the placement of these objects in mountainous areas and coastline. The architectural organization of tourism may help in solving multiple issues in the development of Algeria.


Tourism, coastal areas, sustainable tourism, architecture, Algeria, Bejaia, touristic complex, natural resources, urbanism, environment


The littoral zone is a natural environment, which generally has a high pressure of use; it is fragile, disturbed, overworked and overused and is subject to many pressures and difficulties of many kinds. For a long time, tourism has been associated with the sea, sand and the sun, often referred to as the 3S. As a result of this, tourism is also significantly associated with the coastal environment [1]. We are therefore talking about the commitment to protect and enhance our coastline, to know how it operates. Most coastal areas are home to more than 50% of the world's population, and the additional millions of tourists visiting these different areas for touristic reasons, in effect, the natural environment and tourism are inextricably linked [2].

Globally, most coastal areas are highly populated, making the environment vulnerable. The vulnerability of these environments is the result of many sources of tourism. For the continuation of these areas, support sustainable tourism and its derivatives and the general economy. Sustainable coastal development and the ability to resolve the impending conflict between societal demands. Current ideas for sustainable coastal development include a new respect for environmental, ecological and social boundaries, a goal of living away from the environmental interest with the protection of the principal, a new direction towards the future and the adoption of a time frame for long-term planning and management and the development of architecture [3]. The best way to protect and conserve natural coastal systems is to allow them full freedom to be dynamic [4].

Given the various potentialities of the Algerian coast and threats, Algeria has recently realized that the development of these resources is a particularly promising development tool put in place in 2002 the law 02-02 of February 05, 2002 relating to protection and enhancement of the coastline whose objective is the protection of the coast against risks (pollution, urbanization, erosion, ...) through various instruments such as the CAP. The coastline of Bejaia, with an area of 785 km2 offers tourism potential provided by the coastal strip which extends over more than 100 km2. This last is quite coveted, the number of visitors reached 185274 in 2012 with 7.13% of the national rate.

This paper highlighted the importance of the coastal zone in the development of sustainable tourism and discusses the issue of sustainable tourism development of the Bejaia coast in Algeria, because the various problems facing the region to stimulate tourism and economy, the sustainable tourism development can be a solution for valuing and protecting coastal and economic development. Seaside tourism is the most common form in the city of Bejaia, the coast, the sea, the sun and the beach, is an undeniable attraction for local and even foreign tourists. As a result, the tourist, complexes, residential and economic attractiveness of the coastline of the Bejaia city has greatly accelerated over the last decades, a concentration and a tendency towards economic liberation which tend to the more economic development of the coastal region, by considering the coastline of Bejaia a vital part for its development and in the face of its fragility, the search for a new model of tourism development that respects the environment and for economic development is essential.

1. Characteristics and Principe s of development and valorisation of the coast

The coast is a rich natural space, it offers a visual richness by these strategic sites, these panoramic views, which makes it a natural site very popular with tourists, it is also a place of concentration of the population that promotes trade social and economic [5]. The coastline is a space where nature and landscape beauty are paramount, but it is nowadays shaped by the man who generates successive pressures on him, he determines, he occupies, he arranges, and we notice nowadays great shifting populations and activities towards the coast. It is distinguished by marine and terrestrial biodiversity [6]. Several human activities focus on coastal strips, to develop, they had to develop the coastal area by different types of development, traditional activities such as agriculture and fishing, port facilities, an industrial port, tourism, fishing, aquaculture. These developments result in strong urbanization where several actors are concerned such as the inhabitants, the sinners, the ecologists, the industrialists, the investors, the farmers ... etc. The littoral environment is characterized by a strong natural specificity, it is a complex system which presents an exceptional diversity of a natural environment and resources. Its geographical position and its richness in terms of an ecosystem make it a desirable space for men and a favourable exchange environment causing a high concentration of activities, which explains the essential relationship between man and the coastal environment.

Besides physical conditions, the development of tourism in coastal areas is very related to socioeconomic features of the receiving environment such as local community interests, health and security conditions, political factors including unpredictable crises, exchange rate fluctuations, and traditional models of tourism exploitation or, simply, a successful or less effective marketing-led depiction of a destination [7]. The capacity of the earth to support the human population therefore joins the idea of sustainable management of natural resources insofar as the way in which ecological goods and services are used by all indicates the level of population that can be supported by the planet [8]. This coast space is today the place of multiple economic activities mentioning:

Tourism and leisure (residential economy, pleasure, quality of reception, nautical activities), Agriculture (Areas of origin for agriculture. Diversity of landscapes), communications networks (diversities of road network and maritime transport), Fishing (Fishing port). According to JP. Pinot (1998):

"The management of the coastline is one of the ways to manage and develop, to adjust the layout of the site in such a way as to provide maximum services. Coastal development has two aspects: to transform the coastline, by forcing natural laws to render the services expected, or to implement infrastructures in order not to modify the natural evolutions of the littoral environment in question. development of the coast concerns both its transformation and its protection ".

One of the most interesting tourism development of the coast is the Palm Jumeirah is an artificial island created in Dubai, using idea of land reclamation by Dubai Government owned Developer Nakheel. The Jumeirah Palm island is feature themed boutique hotels, beaches, restaurants, shoreline apartment buildings, marinas, cafes and a variety of retail outlets, and villas.

For tourism development is based on the valorisation of the natural, human, cultural and economic resources of territory through a policy of tourism development, concretized in part, thanks to a development plan considering the consistent constants of the tourist market. Remarkable spaces must be preserved and given special protection as the most characteristic spaces, rich or environmentally sensitive. They are constitutive of the image and the attractiveness of the littoral territory. Their identification and management must be a real local political issue for elected officials. The coastal area is a particularly sensitive territory, the potentials and the assets that characterize it, generally submitting it to strong pressures in terms of development. A development that requires the integration of its specificities that will make it possible to evade the urgent urbanization of rare and coveted areas (coastal environments), as well as the integration of protection and recovery issues, which will considerably reduce the pressures on coastal biodiversity and offer a better landscape of the shore and promotes an architecture adapted to its environment.

2. Strategies for sustainable tourism development of the coast

Sustainable development and equally sustainable tourism enact effective policies for environmental protection and infrastructure development [1]. Traditional tourism development has long worked on an extensive growth model itself based on the constant increase in the number of visitors (regardless of the capacity of the territories) and the priority of short-term profits [9]. Tourism is a mixed economy that would not exist without public means. The intervention of the municipality or the community of communes in the tourist activity is more important than for any other part of the local economy. The growth of tourist activity is therefore deeply dependent on local action, in other words on good governance, which involves all the players concerned by tourism [10]. The tourism development strategy is characterized by a split in the management and decision-making responsibilities of the tourism sector; political and cultural instability, which has had a significant impact on the design of the tourist area and its layout. The concept of sustainable development is a complex system consisting mainly of four elements: policies, population, ecosystems and the economy, linked by two fundamental functions: economic and social growth, and the conservation and improvement of nature. As shown in the following figure 1, we retain six main components as a basis for the concept of sustainable development, which may be objectives of the strategy to be put in place for sustainable tourism development.


Figure 1. Basis for the concept of sustainable development.

3. Coastal environment in Bejaia: Potentialities and disability

Bejaia is a city open on the Mediterranean Sea with a coastline of 100 km, this coastal fringe represents 24.35% of the total area of the city (785 km2 area). The coastline of Bejaia presents multiple tourist potentialities, which makes it one of the favoured destination to the tourists. One of the major assets that give the coast of Bejaia its tourist vocation is the heterogeneity of its relief (sea, mountains, forests). which is an attractive space, given its climate, its geographical position, the potentialities and the wealth it has. It is a place distinguished by its landscape, environmental, architectural heritage, and economic features.

The coastline of Bejaia is one of the most attractive natural sites of the city of Bejaia because of the various potentialities and natural resources it contains (Fig.2). As a result, the coast has become the first tourist destination for visitors and tourists. The high attendance of the latter makes it threatened and weakened on the part of the tourist practices it hosts. A coastal area (100 km) with real curiosity, constitute certain tourist potential. A backcountry crowded with natural sites of a tourist attraction, an ancestral artisanal heritage. The natural resources of the coastal region of Bejaia are varied and diverse: The climate, The beaches, The attractive and picturesque sites (Table. 1), and the cultural and historical resources. For the different picturesque sites mentioned in the Table. 1 can be a great place for sustainable architectural projects for tourist, due to the different natural, cultural, historical potentialities of these natural sites.

The sea and the beach are the main assets of coastline, in the study area we have forty-five (45) beaches, ten (10) of which are closed to swimming, with a total capacity of around 100,000 bathers. The beaches of the east coast are made of fine sand and azure sea, shallow, it succeeds without breaking on the almost perfect curvature of the bay at the edge of a plain that serves as a buffer with the mountains. The West Coast, on the other hand, is punctuated by rocky breakthroughs which delimit and separate beautiful beaches from a sea more or less deep. Sometimes fine sand and pebbles rocks; they take the form of small coves and peninsulas, surrounded by lush vegetation [5]. The beaches that are forbidden to swim are because of the dangers they present (presence of construction site, too deep sea and no emergency station, no access). Besides, the maritime area of the coastline contains under its waters a wealth of great value but which remains unknown, for lack of enhancement.


Figure 2. Map summarizing the different tourism potential of the Bejaia coastline. Source: (SDAT 2025)

Table. 1 Different picturesque sites in Bejaia [5].

Picturesque sites


The island of Pisans

Located off Bejaia near Boulimat to the west, it is a small uninhabited island, it is rich in marine vegetation.

The Aiguades

Located in the west of the city, it is framed by Cape Black and Cape Bouak, the Bay of Aiguades is a historic bay where the first navigators Phoenicians, Greeks and Punics docked.

Cape Carbon

A small mountain that emerges from the water and opens to the west of Bejaia Bay, Built between 1900 and 1905, Cape Carbon Lighthouse rises to 242 m

Cape Bouak

Cape Bouak is located at the extreme west of the bay of Bejaia near the bay Aiguades to which it is connected by a track carved into the rock 20 m from the sea

Cape Sigli

Cape Sigli is located 40 km from Bejaia, it is famous for the abundance of underwater wildlife in the area. This site is accessible by car by taking the W.43 interior road through beautiful forest areas.

The Fairy Grotto

The fairy cave of Aokas was discovered, by chance in 1962, during the work of drilling a tunnel. The adjective attached to this cave may seem somewhat exaggerated.

Bejaia has benefited from a coastal development plan (PAC) that comes to save the coast and thereby tourism. The inter-sectoral commission responsible for monitoring this new mechanism, the coordination of which benefits from the benefits of environmental inspection. The CAP aims at integrated management of coastal zone components within the framework of the coastal law.

The first step was to reduce environmental pollution in the coastal area, three projects are already launched. The first is to rehabilitate the 7 sewage lifting stations located on the Tichy and Aokas coast. The second project concerns the construction of a sewage treatment plant at the mouth of Agrioune. The third project concerns the construction of the lifting station at Bejaia. Five other projects await the agreement of MATET. Although this plan has affected several ecological wounds of the Bejaia coastline, many other black spots remain unresolved, the polluted beaches of Bougie, Tassaft in Tichy, and the public landfills of AOKAS and Souk El Tenine, located on coastal areas. The most of existent project are mainly represented by the different hotels in the area, one of the most popular ones is Hammadite Hotel (fig. 3) and Royal hotel, which located near from beach.


Figure 3. Hotel Hammadite in Bejaia Algeria.

In order to provide serviced land in areas suitable for tourism for investment and different architectural projects as complexes, villa, hotels, restaurants, cafes and a variety of retail outlets, the Bejaia region has eleven ZET. They are delimited by the National Establishment of the Tourist Studies (ENET) for the region of Bejaia concern only its coastline (7 on the East coast and 4 on the West coast with an area of 744 ha) .It is also worth mentioning that these ZET faces several problems: delay in development studies entrusted to the National Agency for Tourism Development (ANDT), lack of basic infrastructure in certain areas, multiplication of illegal constructions, degradation of tourism resources and disputes over land. At present, only the development studies of the ZET of Agrioun and Aokas were carried out by the ANDT and approved in 2012. The investment monitoring service in the city estimates the progress of these projects at 70%. It should be noted that 6 projects, with a capacity of 478 beds, are stopping due mainly to the lack of funding. Today, many lands on this coast (which are part of the ZET) are illegally occupied by private individuals [5]. Generally, there a very big lake of touristic infrastructure, despite these projects, some of them have not yet been completed, However, the deficit in meeting the needs of tourists is evident with many problems in the management of the organization of various resorts and other tourist destinations and a significant lack of quality.

3.1 Existing Tourist Expansion Zones (ZET), development plans of Aokas and Agrioun ZET.

Eleven zones were classified and declared as Tourism Expansion Areas (ZET) for a total area of 745 Hectares. They are divided into two zones: The West Coast and the East Coast. Established on 93 hectares of which 43 are developable, the tourist expansion areas of these two neighboring municipalities, with their various hotels, bathing centers, accommodation, leisure, residential complexes and shops, about twenty projects in total, will offer more than 2400 beds with a density varying between 48 and 64 beds per hectare, far lower than Spain's currently, and will generate more than 4000 direct and indirect jobs, according to the study presented by the ANDT executives.

In accordance with the requirements of the regional landscape plan, the Algerian national standards, these project take into account and recognises the particular vulnerability of border areas, urban periphery and transition zones of Bejaia coastline. It also aims to give a contribution to the preservation of the coastal resources and development of tourism, without affecting the existing delicate balance and the elements governing the coastal transformations, allowing, at the same time, an appropriate and consistent use of the resources. For the development plans ZET Aokas, with a total area of 61 ha, 18.88 ha will be developed. The Aokas ZET development program selected by ANDA has a capacity of 1086 beds with a density of 57 beds/ha. Add to that, the second project of the development plan of the ZET Agrioun (fig.4), the total area of 32 ha, 21.31 ha will be developed. The ANDA and ZET development program has a capacity of 1140 beds with a density of 53.49 beds/ha [5].


Figure 4. Development plan of the ZET Agrioun. Source: (SDAT, 2025).

The coastline of the city of Bejaia is experiencing difficulties in applying the notions of sustainability in its development despite the assertion of the need it, possibly for the protection and enhancement of this natural environment so that it can maintain its quality and keep its competitive advantages on the tourist plan, through instruments of tourism development that the state has elaborated. Indeed, a tourist development remains difficult to reach but it would be necessary to think now of its application before the littoral loses its quality and its biodiversity. The following figure 5 can explain the different steps for a strategic integrated sustainable tourism planning but actually, the initiative to begin a strategic planning process for sustainable tourism development should take by local decision-makers at first level or destination managers or at a higher political decision level or by all of them together.


Figure 5. Steps in Strategic integrated sustainable tourism planning (UNESCAP, 1999)

Today in Algeria, touristic development of the coastline is one of the debates that is required in our current society, because the latter is becoming more and more difficult because it presents itself as one of the threats of this space by its participation in the deterioration of this one many countries around the Mediterranean as Tunisia and Morocco which they have managed to achieve a sustainable tourism development within their coasts thus fighting against the threats that weaken.


The coastal area is one of the richest geographical entities in terms of resources (economic, landscape, tourist), which makes it one of the major potentials exploited but by its sensitivity and its fragility, the latter constitutes one of the most threatened areas, either by man or by nature. The coast of Bejaia is one of the richest areas in Algeria, it presents a great diversity of landscape, also a tourist economic potential. Tourism activity seems to be the most recent and most widespread type of occupation in the coastal area of Bejaia, because of its importance, it is a factor of local development, both economically and socially.

Although these coastal and marine resources are available there is a shortage of amenities for tourism activities, in addition, there is a need to focus on practical concerns for environmental protection if the region continues to function as a viable resource for alternative tourism. At the local level, although there has been little effort to develop and identify coastal areas as parks, complexes, reserves and sites of specific scientific interest, they remain powerless for several reasons, and there should be an enhanced monitoring and management framework as proposed by highlighting the need for development. Sustainable tourism and the development of solutions to suit the social, political and economic specificities. On this basis, the Algerian coastline and particularly our case study "The coastline of Bejaia" can serve as a model and experience for the implementation of sustainable tourism development of the coast.

In recent years, in Algeria, issues of tourism development and management responses have been initiated, but poor management and control remain one of the most important defects that negatively affect the development of the tourism sector. However, further research is needed as illustrated through the integration of coastal management plans and sustainable development themes. While this trend is set to continue to grow, people are now focusing more and more on ecotourism with sustainable development and sustainable tourism as ideal frameworks. But there is difficulty in finding a formula for sustainable tourism due to many reasons mentioned earlier. Although there is no universally accepted model for sustainable coastal tourism development, thus there is the need for Algerian adaptable frameworks to be put in place with the variety of the different socio-cultural and economic factors with influence strongly in the development of tourism.

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