Cape Verde reopens in July as a “tourist destination”, returning to receive foreign visitors and with all operators of the circuit obliged to a health safety seal, the Government announced today.
In a statement, the Ministry of Tourism and Transport says that “the work of preparing the country, as a tourist destination, is underway, in order to receive tourists with safety and tranquility”.
The Government argues that “the planning must be careful and the gradual reopening” so that “the success in combating the covid-19, in the main tourist islands, continues to be consolidated, generating confidence and credibility of the operators, tourists, employees and the general public ”.
On March 19, the Government of Cape Verde suspended all international air connections, authorizing only occasional repatriation flights, as a way to contain the progress of the covid-19 pandemic in the archipelago.
Despite assuming that the “reopening of the tourist destination Cape Verde” is expected in July, to receive foreign visitors, that ministry also underlines that the resumption of these flights also depends on lifting the travel restrictions that were applied in the countries of origin.
He adds that the tutelage of Tourism is developing “as a matter of urgency” a “package of fundamental measures” to “mitigate the expected adverse impacts on the economy and promote the resumption of economic activity in a safe and consistent manner”.
Right from the start, the concept of “Cape Verde – Safe Tourism” is planned, which consists of a set of “good practices”, aircraft hygiene procedures, ‘transfers’, airports, taxis, hotels, restaurants, bars, services, standards for concentration of people, medical treatment units, specialized medical personnel, all to “guarantee health security conditions in the country”.
“By implementing these rules, similar to those of the European Union, all the actors that make up the tourist circuit will be certified with a Health Security Seal, according to the legislation created and in this way the country will be in a position to welcome tourists safely. This process will be materialized, in stages, according to the epidemiological conditions that allow it, in all the islands of Cape Verde ”, also guarantees the Ministry of Tourism.
In addition, the two main tourist islands will have a reinforcement in the area of Health infrastructures, with a new health center in Santa Maria (Sal) and the remodeling of the existing one in Sal Rei (Boa Vista).
“These health centers will be equipped with medical equipment, recently acquired in Belgium and China, turning them into diagnostic and treatment units within the scope of covid-19”, concludes the statement.
The statistical study of tourism in Cape Verde in 2019 confirmed in April that the Cape Verdean hotel units received 819,308 guests, an increase of 7% compared to 2018, and 5,117,403 overnight stays, a similar growth of 3.7%.
Despite these figures, Deputy Prime Minister Olavo Correia, who is also Minister of Finance, has previously admitted that the country is expected to lose half a million tourists in 2020, a drop of more than 60% compared to 2019, in addition to a cut of 4% in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), due to covid-19.
“Cape Verde’s economy will lose about 500 thousand tourists this year, compared to 2019. With that, the country will have a reduction of about three million overnight stays”Deputy Prime Minister Olavo Correia