Praia, Cape Verde, 6 Jan – Cape Verde’s Tourism Strategy Plan aims to achieve a flow of 500,000 tourists per year by 2013, causing a significant rise in associated employment and in tourism’s share of the gross domestic product, the local press reported on Tuesday.
The plan was approved last week by the Council of Ministers and seeks to increase the number of tourism sector jobs by about 60 percent, thus “improving the Cape Verdean population’s quality of life”.
The Tourism Strategy Plan comprises 17 programmes involving various sectors. The Minister of the Presidency and Council of Ministers, Janira Hopffer Almada, highlighted the ones for security and health.
“The ‘More Health for More Tourism’ programme is there because tourists ask about the response capacity of health structures and how the health system is organised, because it helps determine the tourism destination,” said Almada, who is also spokeswoman for the government.
Almada did not have data for 2009 and referred to available figures indicating an upturn in tourism between the years 2000 and 2008.
“We had a 14.5 percent increase in the number of overnight stays, the number of guests rose by 11.4 percent and during the same period tourism generated a 121 percent increase in direct jobs, accounting for almost 20 percent of GDP,” she said.