Tourism in Cape Verde

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Ecotourism is developing around the volcano Pico do Fogo on Fogo.

Tourism in Cape Verde, a group of islands off the coast of Senegal, West Africa, started in the 1970s on the island of Sal and increased slowly in the 1980s and 1990s.[1]


Tourism contributed $41 million to the country's economy in the year 2000. The hotel industry contributed 2.0% to GDP in 1997, which increased to 6.8% in 2001.[citation needed] The number of tourists increased from approximately 45,000 in 1997 to more than 115,000 in 2001 and to over 644,000 in 2016 according to the Cape Verdean statistics bureau.[citation needed] Most of these international arrivals came from the United Kingdom, Germany, Low Countries (i.e., The Netherlands and Belgium), France, Portugal, Italy... and other countries. Less than one percent of tourists came from the United States. The vast majority of tourists visit the comparatively flat and less populated islands of Sal,[2] Boa Vista,[3] and Maio with their white sandy beaches.[citation needed]

The islands of Cape Verde have a pleasant climate during most of the year with 350 days of sunshine, and some of them offer an impressive mountain scenery as well.[4] Diving, windsurfing, sailing and trekking are available to tourists.[5] Some ecotourism is developing on the island of Fogo around the active stratovolcano Pico do Fogo.[citation needed] For tourists interested in cultural topics, the town of Cidade Velha on the island of Santiago was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997, but cultural tourism has not been particularly promoted up to now.[citation needed]

The Visa policy of Cape Verde requires visas for tourists from most of the world. [6]


Most guests in tourist accommodation establishments, by country of residence, in 2015:[7]

Rank Country Number
1  United Kingdom 126,685
2  Germany 76,451
3  Portugal 61,979
4  Belgium
5  France 56,458
6  Italy 27,086
7  Spain 9,412
8   Switzerland 5,450
9  United States 4,282
10  Austria 2,351
11  South Africa 232
Other countries 88,863
Total foreign 569,387


  1. ^ Pitt Reitmeier: Cabo Verde, p. 264. Bielefeld 2009.
  2. ^ "Holidays in Sal - The Cape Verde Islands". 
  3. ^ "Cape Verde: Island of Boa Vista". New Media -Servicios de Marketing, Internet e Publicidade Lda. Retrieved 17 October 2016. 
  4. ^ Taylor & Francis Group (2003). Africa South of the Sahara 2004: South of the Sahara. Routledge. pp. 190. ISBN 1-85743-183-9. 
  5. ^ Boniface, Brain G.; Christopher P. Cooper (2001). Worldwide Destinations: The Geography of Travel and Tourism. Butterworth-Heinemann. p. 256. ISBN 0-7506-4231-9. 
  6. ^ "Cape Verde: Entry requirements / VISA". Retrieved 16 October 2016. 
  7. ^ [1]

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