In a change that is set to make a positive impact on Cape Verde tourism, visa-exempt visitors travelling to the islands will now register online in advance for free entry into the country. Announced back in April 2017, the shift in policy intends to increase competitiveness in the tourism sector and double the number of tourists visiting the country, which is currently around 700,000 a year.
Cape Verde’s visa-free entry policy for European citizens was initially announced by the country’s prime minister Ulisses Correia da Silva. Coming into effect on January 9th 2019, the changes in the decree aim to accommodate the governmental decision to require the visa-exempt citizens from the European Union and the United Kingdom to apply for a 30-day entry and stay visa, whilst also foreseeing other visa-free situations in the future.
The list includes all 28 countries that are part of the European Union plus four additional countries not part of the Union, namely Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein. The progressive movement is already shifting tourism within the archipelago, with the Cape Verdean government now announcing its intention to extend the visa waiver to Monaco, San Marino and Andorra.
The new bill means that “Visa-exempted citizens are obliged to pre-register themselves, using a platform made available online, up to five days before the start of the trip,” making the process easier and ensuring a smooth journey for tourists. It’s another positive move for the new government, as with a total ten islands and five islets, each known for its culture and specific customs, Cape Verde is a favourite destination for holidaymakers.
The main aim of the government is to attract more visitors to the archipelago. The Tourism sector has contributed the most to Cape Verde’s Gross Domestic Product over the years, accounting for 20% GDP on average. Furthermore, over 80% of tourists visiting the Islands are from European countries – solidifying the rationale for the new visa regulations.
For more information about tourism on the Cape Verde Islands and how it impacts our overseas property investment opportunities, get in touch today via our contact page.