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Cape Verde has been named one of the top 10 countries in the world for long term tourism growth which is set to have an impact on the archipelago’s real estate investment market.

Often referred to as the African Caribbean, the islands off the coast of West Africa have seen tourism numbers increase by 115% since 2000 and officials expect a million visitors this year.

‘Whilst many still struggle to place Cape Verde on a map, this archipelago is punching above its weight in tourism terms. Cape Verde is certainly a hot travel destination of the future and an investor's dream,’ said Samantha Gore, sales manager for international estate agents uv10.

Figures from the World Travel and Tourism Council also show that travel and tourism directly contributed 16.2% of Cape Verde's total GDP in 2013 and this is expected to rise to 20% of total GDP by 2024. This places Cape Verde 40th out of 184 countries for its growth forecast in 2014, and an tenth for long term growth over the next decade.
 
Meanwhile, in 2013 travel and tourism directly supported 32,000 jobs, 14.5% of total employment, by 2014 this is expected to increase to 64,000 jobs or 23.3% of total employment.

Cape Verde's potential hasn't gone unnoticed amongst global hotel chains. Hilton has recently laid the first stone on their €46 million 240 room hotel on the island of Sal, the first of the luxury chain in Cape Verde,’ explained Gore.

Meanwhile Spanish chain Melia has four hotels either open or in the pipeline with its first, Melia Tortuga Beach, recently celebrating half a million visitors since opening in 2011. Melia Dunas Beach Resort follows in November this year and Melia Llana Beach in 2016.
 
The firm is now marketing the fourth Melia project due to open in 2018 but with 7% returns from day one. Entry level investment is £10,000 for a sixth of an off plan garden or premium hotel room with the 7% guaranteed interest paid for the start for four years or until the opening of the resort, whichever is first.

Once complete the investment unit joins a rental program. As an example, Melia Tortuga Beach is already returning 6 to 9% per annum to buyers. There will also be a guaranteed buy-back at open market value three years after operations commence.

Gore believes that Cape Verde, which is on the same latitude as Barbados, has a lot to offer in terms of beautiful beaches, green mountains, guaranteed year round sunshine and an average temperature of 27ºC.

The Islands now receive more than 40 international flights a week and, for visitors from the UK, the flying time is five and a half hours, on par with places like Cyprus.  Gore said that Cape Verde, whose currency is tied to the euro, also offers political and economic stability with the archipelago's central bank predicting GDP growth of between 1.5 and 2.5% in 2014.

This article was republished with permission from Property Wire.