SOS Tartarugas works in Cape Verde protecting nesting loggerheads turtles (Caretta caretta) and their habitat. Cape Verde is the third most important nesting area for loggerheads in the world. Turtles are at risk from hunting for meat, stealing of eggs, removal of sand for building and unregulated tourism development. Our email is
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Thursday, September 8, 2011

SOS participates in Sustainable Tourism Workshop

What is sustainable tourism?  One definition could be minimising negative impacts tourism has on the destination while maximising the benefits for the local population.  Benefits could include better standards of living, employment, improvements in health care and infrastructure. 

In a workshop organised by TUI and held at the RIU Funana yesterday, delegates considered whether tourism has had a negative or positive impact on Sal so far and how to improve the situation.  Some of the negative impacts identified included
  • destruction of the environment (erosion of the main beach, aesthetic qualities lost due to construction)
  • increase in sexual tourism
  • increases in crime
Algodoeiro beach during construction of Melia Tortuga
Delegates, including the Minister for Tourism & other government officials, several associations and representatives from hotels and tour operators also considered threats to the development of tourism and what interventions could be used to limit these threats.

The Minister for Tourism opens the meeting
Almost every factor that restricts tourism on Sal seemed to come back to a combination of lack of political will and a lack of investment in infrastructure.  It was agreed that there was a need for more investment in facilities such as health care, security from crime (for tourists and residents), education and training, improvements in roads and more secure supplies of water, electricity and sanitation.  Time was also spent discussing the need to increase the understanding of 'service' as opposed to 'hospitality', since despite the welcome and warmth tourists receive, the service can be quite poor.

Of course on Sal, many people consider that no benefit is brought at all to the local economy and population through All Inclusive hotels.

It is hard to say if at the end of this initiative, which is being organised by TUI with The Travel Foundation, there will be any positive changes.  A lot seems to hang on whether the government will take the initiative or not or whether TUI and other companies will enter into Public/Private Partnerships in order to stimulate the much needed improvements to this island.


  1. Thanks for this. I shared the post on the following page:

    We are promoting a network of people to work on the issue. Feel free to join us and "djuntamon"

  2. Thank you, I have liked your page and will recommend it to the others at the workshop.

  3. Great Jacquie. Seems you guys are doing a very good work. Its not easy to do things in CV and since civil society is not organized, harder it become. Still the idea is strength the network of people who can talk about and act on issues. We are following your work. Thank you.