How Cape Verde has changed over the last 10 years
The Resort Group PLC was founded in 2007 and although it would still be four years until Rob Jarrett’s dream of opening a Resort on the stunning Island of Sal would be realised, Cape Verde was already an exciting prospect. Having originally worked in the banking and financial sector, it wouldn’t be long until Rob Jarrett translated his success into the overseas property market. It was a tip from a colleague that led him to look at the small but sunny archipelago of Cape Verde and after a trip across the Atlantic, The Resort Group history was made.
Facts from Cape Verde in 2007
The Bank of Cape Verde redesigned the 500 and 100 escudo notes.
Rabil Airport (now Aristides Pereira International Airport) on Boa Vista paved a new, bigger 2,100-metre runway.
Cape Verdean Football Federation celebrated its 25th anniversary and the first Cape Verdean Cup took place.
EU/Cape Verde Special Partnership was created to promote common interests and values.
World Trade Organization council confirms Cape Verde’s accession to the organisation.
Prime Minister José Maria Neves had just been elected to a second term in office and the country was enjoying a period of long-term political and economic stability, partly due to the emerging boom in the tourist trade. The first of the direct European flights were coming into the two international airports on the Islands and the stage was set for the development of luxury Resorts to accommodate the incoming holidaymakers.
International Sales Director David Dumble, who was one of the first to make the, then complicated, journey to Sal Island recalls there was “no choice but to fly from Newcastle to Paris, from Paris to Lisbon and finally Lisbon to Sal”. But it was as soon as early 2007 that flights began to get more convenient, with a direct return from Manchester to Sal making lives much easier. Flights today come from all over Europe and the world, the country now boasts over 112 direct flights a week, serviced by 12 airlines.
It is a direct consequence of the tourism boom, which saw its first real signs of breaking out in 2007. In fact, tourism accounted for a historic high of 21.9% of GDP in 2007, according to central bank estimates. Despite the 2008 global economic recession, Cape Verde remained strong and the tourists kept coming, which meant that by 2011, it had been named one of the top ten tourism destinations by the popular tourist guide, The Lonely Planet. Meanwhile, every projection shows an upwards trajectory for tourism, with visitors climbing 115% since 2000, a number that is expected to double again by 2024.
All this meant change for the Island, and there have been three luxury developments planned and completed by The Resort Group PLC over the past 10 years. The first, MELIÃ Tortuga Beach Resort, began construction in 2009 and opened its doors to Sal’s first 5-star holidaymakers in May 2011. Meanwhile, teams were already at work over on the MELIÃ Dunas Beach Resort & Spa site, with properties extremely popular – partly from the great success of the first Resort. Our second luxury Sal Island Resort triumphantly launched in November 2014 and it should be no surprise to hear that construction was underway at our third development, the site that would become the MELIÃ Llana Beach Resort & Spa and the TUI Sensimar Cabo Verde. The two adults-only Resorts opened in December 2016 and has so far been a shining star in Sal’s tourism boom, bringing a new experience to the landscape.
This success has been best shown in the multiple commendations – for the Islands, the Resorts and The Resort Group. Most recently, Rob Jarrett was awarded the Tourism Merit Medal by the Cape Verde government and all three Resorts received high praise and a total of nine accolades at The Cabo Verde Tourism Awards. Working with leading figures in the country means the Group can do even more to improve infrastructure and quality of life, through corporate initiatives and The Cape Verde Foundation. Former Prime Minister José Maria Neves, who also attended and made a speech at the MELIÃ Dunas Beach Resort & Spa opening party, praised the Group for its efforts throughout his time in office.
“Allow me to congratulate The Resort Group for its performance in Cape Verde. Above all, for its co-operation, attitude and approach, and for the permanent search for shared solutions so that we can continue to grow.”
To complete a successful 10 years, the first Bikini Beach Club opened last year, in a feat that sees The Resort Group diversify their offering. A beach club like no other, it’s been such a positive venture that more are planned at new locations in Cape Verde and, eventually, in a global capacity. The coming years will also see the Group bring new Hotel and Resort developments to Boa Vista and the archipelago’s capital, Praia. With so much to look forward to, it’s set to be another exciting 10 years in Cape Verde.
For more information about The Resort Group and Cape Verde, get in touch with the team today via our contact page.