Cape Verde’s National Statistics Institute (INE) reported a 2% annual increase in visitor numbers in the first half of 2015, placing the country on target for a bumper tourism year.

Attracted by its fabulous beaches, known as jumping-off points for windsports and a great location for diving among shipwrecks, more than 278,000 visitors arrived on the beautiful archipelago off the northwest coast of Africa,in the first six months of the year

During the second quarter, Cape Verde hosted 116,200 tourists representing a 4.8% increase on the same period of 2014, despite the country’s relatively under-developed tourism infrastructure. In the first six months, overnight stays increased by 3.5% to almost 1.8 million. Hotels remained the most popular type of accommodation for 87.3% of visitors to the tiny archipelago nation.

The data also reveals that the second quarter of the year saw mostly British tourists arriving in Cape Verde, representing around 25% of international visitors. British  holiday-makers stayed for an average of 9 days.   The island of Sal was the most popular resort location, accounting for around 46% of overnight stays in hotel establishments.

Cape Verde is a former Portuguese colony and maintains close links with Portugal and the Eurozone. Special partnership status has been granted by the EU and in 2008 Cape Verde joined the World Trade Organization. The country has improved significantly to achieve economic stability, with plenty of potential for further growth, particularly through its tourist sector.

Its democracy is one of the most stable in Africa and Cape Verde was officially removed from the United Nations’ list of Least-Developed Countries in December 2007. The country’s outlook has never been better. The World Bank recently reported that its impressive development trajectory was  underpinned by ‘good governance, sound macro-economic management, trade openness and increased integration into the global economy, as well as the adoption of effective social development policies. ‘

About half of Cape Verde’s 482,000 population lives on the biggest island, Santiago, which is home to the capital city, Praia. Tourism is concentrated chiefly on the island of Sal, which has the country’s only international airport capable of receiving charter flights from Europe. New and bigger international airports are scheduled to be opened in Santiago, San Vicente and Boa Vista, boosting residential property prices in those areas.

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Cape Verde