Then and Now: The growth of the Cape Verdean economy
It was over ten years ago that Rob Jarrett, Founder and CEO of the The Resort Group PLC, imagined a business model that would bring luxurious Resorts to a small set of Islands, just off the West African coast. In that time, the Group has established itself in Cape Verde as a developer of luxury 5–star Resorts, with hospitality and high quality environments at its heart, but it has also had an impact on the archipelago’s economy. Introducing jobs in a variety of sectors, from construction to hospitality, and helping to build the infrastructure of the Island itself is mutually beneficial to the Group and the government – feeding the economy and boosting the already booming tourism trade.
Looking back to a time when the idea of the first Resort was still in its infancy, it’s not hard to see why the opportunity to responsibly expand on Sal Island was such an attractive prospect. With laws in place to prevent over-building and an undiscovered feel, tourism was still emerging as an industry. In 2007, it had been a difficult few years for the Cape Verdean economy – relying heavily on agriculture, the sector had struggled and growth had decelerated significantly. Slowly though, experts started to see signs of recovery with the economy growing approximately 6.6% that year. Inflation began to fall too and estimates for further growth were positive – bolstered partly by emerging foreign investment.
Fast-forward a few years and according to estimates, during the first half of 2010, tourism grew considerably along with the economy, while the share of public investment in the Cape Verde GDP had reached more than 10% by 2009. This coincided perfectly with the opening of the first development, MELIÃ Tortuga Beach Resort, in early 2011. With tourism on the rise and a stable economy, investors saw the chance to get in on the ground floor and Cape Verde proved a wise choice – occupancy is at an encouraging average of 76% since launch and consistently high rental returns.
The success continued as we began work on our second development, MELIÃ Dunas Beach Resort & Spa. Although there was some deflation with the turn of the global economy, Cape Verde remained relatively strong and rebounded quickly, helped by the tourist trade and hospitality employment rates. Today, the outlook is still impressive. Just last year, the government made transfers of property less costly by lowering the property registration tax, helping investors see further potential in overseas property on the Islands. Recent reports also show tourism on the rise yet again, while figures from the International Monetary Fund show that the archipelago economy will grow 3.7% in 2017 and 4.1% in 2018, 2019 and 2010.
Looking to the future, The Resort Group PLC will continue to invest, both in the tourism market with the development of our desirable 5-star Resorts and in the wider community through our commitment to infrastructure improvement and the work of the Foundation. That is why it’s the ideal opportunity to invest, taking advantage of the ever-growing and secure Cape Verdean economy with a luxurious 5-star property at the White Sands Hotel & Spa.
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