Cape Verde closer to achieving Chinese approved tourist destination status

22 June 2007

Beijing, China, 22 June – China and Cape Verde inn September will sign the agreement that will grant Cape Verde the status of approved tourist destination, the Cape Verdean ambassador to China, Júlio Morais said in Beijing Thursday.

On the sidelines of the opening of the Beijing International Tourism Exposition (Bite 2007), the ambassador told Portuguese news agency Lusa tat signing the Memorandum of Understanding to attribute the status to Cape Verde would be the official carrying out of a policy that had already been announced by Beijing.

In November 2006, China added nine new countries, including Mozambique and Cape Verde, to the list of approved tourist destinations, which allows Chinese citizens to travel in a group without needing an exit visa from Beijing.

Bite, which is taking place in the Chinese capital between Thursday and Saturday, is the first international tourism fir in which Cape Verde has taken part, with the aim of attracting the Chinese market.

According to figures from the Cape Verde Chamber of Tourism, in 2005 the sector accounted for 10.4 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) and in 2006, according to the same figures, contributed 20 percent to the country’s GDP growth.

According to the event’s organizers, around 20,000 people are expected to visit Bite 2007, which will bring together around 800 exhibitors from 80 countries, including Chinese and international tour operators and destinations.

In 2006 China consolidated its position as the largest source market for tourists in the whole of Asia, with 34.52 million Chinese taking foreign trips, 11.27 percent more than in 2005. (macauhub)