Cape Verde wishes to be a sustainable tourism destination, which ensures the satisfaction of the needs of both local communities and tourists and respect for natural and cultural values.
Cape Verde is a ten islands country in the Atlantic Ocean with over 1,000 km of coastline. With still a large portion of the country with breathtaking virgin landscapes and unspoilt culture and, with a strong and mounting mass tourism pressure and skyrocketing coastal land speculation, the country is at a tipping point.
As tourism is relatively recent in Cape Verde it had its beginnings in the years 1990-1995 - it has become a commitment for the government and a major motor of the economy. Currently, it is one of the sectors that contributes most to the GDP (about 19%) with an upward trend. The impacts of insufficiently efficient planned tourism development could cause significant economic, social and environmental damages.
One primary goal of the capverdean government is to ensure that tourism keeps within the margins of its fragile ecosystems and that economic growth spreads to the poorest sectors of the population. In this sense, the government wants to maximize the beneficial effects of this growing sector with a properly planning and controlling.
In the last years many initiatives have been developed ranging from accelerating and supporting the elaboration of land-use ordnance and protected area management plans and their guidance and integration on economic development plans to increasing the share of ecotourism and well managed nature-based tourism in the country.
The Government has already launched the first National Tourism Master Plan and a Code of Conduct defining objectives for managing resources and competitiveness within the sector, which drive the archipelago's economy and include measures for saving water, management of power resources, use of renewable energy, Waste and waste water treatment and optimization of environmental resources.
In the course of the program 100% renewable energy, a zero emissions concept for tourism is about to be developed which should be brought close to the tourism stakeholders of the mass tourist islands of Sal and Boa Vista. It will also constitute the basis for the sustainable tourism promoted for all islands.