Destinations Programme Officer Isabel Kearney gives an update from Cape Verde…
Last week, 18 members of the Destination Council for Sal, Cape Verde, met at Hotel Oasis Salinas Sea. The Destination Council was set up by the Travel Foundation to bring together key tourism stakeholders including the Ministry of Tourism, local government, NGOs, hotels, tour operators and ground agents.
Collectively the council is working towards a vision of Sal as “a welcoming, clean and beautiful island, full of Cape Verdean culture, tradition, craft and music. A destination recognised internationally for sustainability, protecting the environment and involving local communities”.
During the meeting National Programme Manager Débora Abu-Raya gave members an update on the Travel Foundation’s three new projects in Sal – Better Beaches, Discover the Real Sal, and Cape Verdean Craft – and the council discussed how they could get involved in activities and involve other stakeholders.
Questions were raised about how to deal with stray dogs on the beaches and the quantity of litter being washed up – members who had organised beach cleans shared shocking stories of the amount of litter collected in just one hour. Through the Better Beaches project, and with the cooperation of residents and visitors to Sal, the Travel Foundation hopes to improve the beach environment so that it can be enjoyed by more people.
Débora said, “I’m really pleased that the second Destination Council meeting went so well. Members are engaged in the projects and showed real passion for turning Sal into a sustainable tourism destination.”
Over the coming months, the Destination Council will be working on a joint action plan in order to achieve this vision for Sal, as well as contributing resources towards a beach clean for World Oceans Day on 8 June.