Cape Verde: New hotels take island of Sal to 750,000 annual stays

The island of Sal, the most touristy in the Cape Verdean archipelago, has projects underway for new hotels that will increase the number of beds by 30% and 750,000 overnight stays annually.

The scenario was outlined in an interview with Lusa by the mayor of Sal, Júlio Lopes, in the city of Santa Maria. He pointed out that in addition to the traditional British tourists, who lead the demand for Cape Verde, and the Portuguese, French, German or Italian, the market is also receiving more Brazilian tourists.

“The projections show that in a few years Sal will reach one million tourists a year,” he said, adding that it is also the one that has the highest GDP per capita in Cape Verde.

On the island of Sal, tourists find paradisiacal beaches, 340 days of sunshine a year, warm waters and all kinds of associated sports, from adventure to water sports and even diving.

Tourism has allowed the rehabilitation of the island, he said with a positive impact on people’s lives and employment, where everyone lives directly or indirectly from the sector.

According to the mayor, the ongoing installation of the Sal hub by the company Cabo Verde Airlines, for flights between Africa, Europe and America, with its ‘Stopover’ programme is contributing to this new boost in tourism and neither Brexit nor a possible deep fall in the spending by British tourists is a concern on Sal for now.

Júlio Lopes’ confidence is reinforced by the ongoing international investments in new hotels in Sal, as the third of the RIU group on that island, already under construction and with an expected capacity of 2,000 beds, and the new Robinson Club, with 600 beds and inauguration scheduled for 14 December.

He also said that the end of the “visa barrier” by Cape Verde, which since the beginning of the year has been attributed to the arrival at international airports, has motivated the growth of Portuguese tourists, even with the purchase of second homes, but also from other European countries.

He added that a delegation of Russian travel agencies is scheduled to visit Sal in the coming weeks. Attracting American tourists, just over six hours away from Sal, is another goal.

The intention is to look for tourists who do not know Cape Verde, said Júlio Lopes, ensuring that the prospects for tourism at Sal are very good.