Cape Verde is known for long white beaches, some great music, and surfing. Few are aware of the fact that
The ecology of
Tourism is clearly a strong engine for economic growth in
Nevertheless, I have a strong feeling that tourism development in
To my great surprise, I have learned that there is no government national plan or strategy for tourism development in place - no firm political direction is given to this important process. Instead, a laisez faire approach is applied, giving the investment agency Cabo Verde Investimentos free hands to sell land to whomever is keen to buy, on an ad hoc and top-down basis. The mass tourism already experienced in Sal seem to serve as a general model for development on the other islands. Boa
But is it really sensible to promote mass-tourism in a small and vulnerable archipelago like
Equally important, there is an obvious risk that mass tourism projects eventually undermine the very reason that make tourists come to
Here is my vision for tourism in
Investments in all of these islands should be directed towards low intensive tourism, attracting a smaller number of environmentally conscious and wealthier tourist, all seeking to avoid all-inclusive hotel complexes and overcrowded pool areas, and willing to pay more to experience genuine culture, nature adventure, peaceful mountain hikes, and romantic getaways. Investors should be required to minimize resource and water use, invest in renewable energy, and put in place their own systems for waste regeneration and disposal.
In this way, tourism would benefit both the economy and environment, and it would continue to attract wealthy tourists also 20 years from now.
A Semana (www.asemana.cv)
Information from the from the General Directorate for Tourism and the National Institute on Statistics
Related topic: “Opposites Attract?”