Cape Verde's government has targeted attracting 1.26 million tourists annually by 2026. The aim is to have 40% of visitors arrive on islands other than Sal and Boa Vista, traditionally known as tourist islands. Francisco Martins, the administrator of the Institute of Tourism, explained that the government hopes to reduce the excessive number of tourists in Sal and Boa Vista by increasing tourism to other islands such as Santiago, Fogo, Maio, Santo Antão, and Brava. By 2026, they aim to reach 1.3 million tourists.
Experts point out that current indicators show that there are problems that have contributed to the country having poorly qualified and diversified travel services, including insufficient basic infrastructure, efficient internal and external connectivity, governance model, little integration of cultural heritage in the existing tourism offer and inefficient marketing, pointing out that Cape Verde has lost much in the world ranking position of competitiveness to countries like Seychelles and Mauritius because we are not going to address this core issue that is cultural identity to promote and sell tourism from there.
The Cape Verde authorities are already working on improving basic infrastructures, increasing the frequency of external and internal flights, improving sea and land transport conditions, strengthening national and regional governance, and re-qualifying the natural and cultural heritage and integrating it into the tourist offer.
Quite significantly, Cape Verde tourism is highly dependent on the European market, mostly through two major operators (TUI and RIU) who operate vertically. Such dependence leaves us little room for maneuvering. The impact on the country is small because when tourists come with an 'all-inclusive' package, most of the revenue stays in the country.