We aim to increase economic benefits for local people from tourism excursions and improve the environmental impact of tours.
Why? Tourist excursions are an excellent opportunity to create economic benefits for local people, but if not managed well, they can have negative impacts on local wildlife, the environment and local communities. Our research showed that there was a perception amongst tourists that there wasn’t much to do on Sal and that many tours offered the same experience. In addition, tour guides often didn’t have the relevant knowledge to be able to protect important wildlife habitats, for example, Sal is one of the largest nesting sites for endangered loggerhead turtles.
We have created the first ever best practice manual for nature-based tours across Cape Verde, in collaboration with a local NGO, Project Biodiversity.
We have signed an agreement with the environment and tourism departments of the national government to work together for the improvement of nature-based guiding, including through training and better licensing of guides.
We developed an Insider Guide to Sal to help visitors explore the island. It’s available to tourists at the reception of several hotels on the island and at Sal’s airport.
We are researching the impacts of excursions on the islands and plan to present our findings and recommendations to relevant government bodies and destination council.
We have trained over 65 excursion providers, tour operator representatives and guides to improve the impact of tours.
We provided ‘Insider Guide’ training to reps from several tour operators and hotels, to enable them to make recommendations to visitors
Improving nature-based excursions will help to ensure the guides can make a better, more secure living from tourism. In the long term, natural habitats, such as turtle nesting sites, will be protected. Such sites represent important natural heritage of the islands and draw tourists. This project is also helping to improve the visitor experience in Sal, building a quality, unique reputation for the destination, and ensuring that visitors to the island enjoy themselves and want to return.