Cabo Verde: French to invest €7.2M in 60-suite hotel on island of Maio

French investors plan to set up a hotel unit with 60 suites in Porto Inglês, on the Cape Verdean island of Maio, in a €7.2 million investment that will create 60 jobs locally.

According to the government dispatch that grants special status such as tax benefits to the installation by the developers, the investment involves the construction of a hotel that offers high-end tourism and responsibility under the ‘Adults Only’ concept.

It envisages 60 suites, flats and offices, in a development divided by a life centre, with boutiques and space for sports, restaurants, a private club, a private beach, a sports fishing centre and a swimming pool. There is also a business centre and a third wellness centre, with gyms and other services.

The €7.2 million project provides for the creation of 60 jobs and, according to the government, is part of the “national policy outlined for the tourism sector,” which aims to “comply with the standards of providing innovative service,” obeying interactive quality standards and boosting the increase of accommodation in the archipelago.

A previous similar project from the same developers received the same status at the end of 2012 but did not go ahead due to financial difficulties.

In the order that revoked the attribution of the previous statute, it is stated that the promoters alleged “financial difficulties” to start the previous project and “benefit from that statute”, but that “currently all the conditions are already met to start its implementation”.

With this investment, the contracts of private promoters, in hotels and tourism, signed with the Cape Verdean state since April 2020, after the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, amount to just over €1 billion and practically 8,500 jobs. It involves, besides Radisson Praia and Mélia Lusofonia, two other mega-developments whose investment was contracted at the end of March, and the Maihotel Club, two five-star hotels of the Marriot chain and 21 investments with tourism utility status, according to official data compiled by Lusa.

The president of the Cabo Verde Chamber of Tourism, Gualberto do Rosário, said in March, in an interview with Lusa, that businesspeople had not stopped investing, despite the strong impact of the pandemic, expecting even more growth in the sector in the short term.

“Once the pandemic issue is solved, I think that the sector will return to normal, and hopefully with more vigour, as it had been growing. Businesspeople in general, both nationals and foreign investors, realise this and are preparing for the recovery,” said the official, while admitting that most hotels in Cape Verde remain closed due to the impacts of Covid-19.

Tourism accounts for about 25% of Cape Verde’s gross domestic product (GDP). Still, the sector has been at a virtual standstill since the end of March 2020 due to travel restrictions imposed to contain the transmission of Covid-19, after the historic record of 819,000 tourists in 2019.

In 2020, the sector lost more than 600,000 tourists, a drop of over 70% on the previous year.