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Lusa - Business News - Cabo Verde: Major hotel investment in Cidade Velha worth €228M




Praia, July.28,2021(Lusa)-The Cidade Velha area of Cabo Verde, classified as World Heritage, will receive an investment of over €228 million from installing a five-star resort with 719 rooms creating over 1,000 jobs.

According to the draft establishment agreement between the Cabo Verde and Praia-based New Vision Investment (NVI), of 27 July and seen by Lusa on Wednesday, the developers plan to install the "Ocean Cliffs Resort" project in the municipality of Ribeira Grande de Santiago, Cidade Velha, a five-star hotel-resort described in the document as a "structuring project" for the country.

"The global development of the project will generate a total of 1,010 new direct jobs and will represent a significant increase in the tourism offer on Santiago island, particularly in the town of Ribeira Grande," reads the draft agreement establishing this investment, approved by the Council of Ministers and which gives the promoters access to tax and customs benefits, among other State support.

Cidade Velha, on Cabo Verde's Santiago Island, was classified by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) as a World Heritage Site on 10 May 2009. On 26 June of the same year, it was classified as one of the Seven Wonders of the World of Portuguese origin.

It was also the first city built by Europeans south of the Sahara and the first capital of Cabo Verde, a title it held until 1770 when the capital became Praia de Santa Maria, now Praia.

The first phase of the investment is budgeted at €17.5 million, and according to the developers, it will create 200 jobs involving "all the infrastructure work," to be carried out in 12 months.

The second phase consists of the construction of the different units planned in the urbanisation, such as hotels, resort hotels, villas, flats, sports centre, clinical centre, business centre, congress centre and aquapark, estimated at €210.7 million, to be concluded in four years, generating 160 direct jobs in the construction phase, including the real estate component.

"The government of Cabo Verde (considers the New Vision Investments - NVI, SA project to be of great value, and therefore declares it to be of exceptional interest as part of its socio-economic development strategy for the country, taking into account the impact it will represent in terms of investment, employment, vocational training, the wealth it will generate and the quantitative and qualitative increase in national accommodation capacity," the document said.

Overall, the project involves, amongst others, seven blocks of buildings with 800 homes, two townhouses with 330 units, a block with 52 lots for villas, two hotels, one with 164 rooms and another with 48 rooms, and a hotel resort with 520 suites.

"During the operating phase, the development will create 650 direct and permanent jobs, totalling 1,010 jobs until the conclusion of the two phases and their respective operation," the document said.

In this agreement, the promoters have undertaken to get involved "actively and financially in activities of a social nature," via a memorandum of understanding signed with the Ribeira Grande de Santiago municipality, establishing a protocol worth 26 million euros, to be implemented within 24 months of the project becoming operational, to support local works, urban development or international promotion of the "Cidade Velha" Unesco World Heritage brand as an international tourist destination.

Tourism accounts for about 25% of national GDP, but after a record 819,000 tourists in 2019, limitations on international travel due to the Covid-19 pandemic have caused a 70% drop in demand.

In the first quarter of this year, the archipelago received about 12,000 tourists, mainly from Portugal, when in the same period of 2020, 189,110 had arrived.

Tourist demand for Cabo Verde is expected to fall back to 2005 levels this year due to limitations imposed on travel by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the proposed Amending Budget for 2021.

As part of the current budget, the government forecast that this year would reach levels of tourism demand identical to 2011, "but that, given the current data, the forecast is revised to the levels recorded in 2005.

If this forecast comes true, Cabo Verde is expected to receive just over 300,000 tourists this year, when before the pandemic, the goal for this time was already over a million. Last year, the archipelago received around 200,000 tourists, mainly in the first quarter, before the pandemic.

PVJ/ADB // ADB.

Lusa


Agency : LUSA

Date : 2021-07-29 09:54:00







 

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