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News: The Caribbean appeal of Cape Verde

Thu, 22 Nov 07

That Cape Verde is emerging as one of the most exciting new markets for property investors is not in doubt...

Stories of the increase in the number of people buying property in the islands and the growth of tourism are well-documented trends. But the specific marketing of the islands as the Caribbean on Europe's doorstep is what has given it a special appeal, property magazine Buy Association has said.

Paul Collins, overseas property editor for the publication, said those looking to advance the property market have used the West Indian analogy very effectively.

He said: "It is popular with developers and they've been able to exploit the fact that the weather is quite similar to that in the Caribbean. So it's being marketed as the nearest Caribbean to Europe."

Of course, Cape Verde is not exactly on the doorstep of Europe, the archipelago being located in the Atlantic off the west coast of Africa. But at five hours, the flying time is certainly less than that to the Caribbean.

Blossoming tourist market

The ease of getting there is, of course, linked with the opening up of the blossoming tourist market. Both these factors were also listed by Mr Collins as major contributors to the islands' fortunes, along with the fact that, like the Caribbean, the Cape Verde islands are good for diving and other watersports. This in turn, he noted, meant the islands are "popular with people looking for the new emerging markets".

Such trends are continuing and set to remain so, reports suggest. For instance, Macauhub reported earlier this month that the island of Boavista was anticipated to receive over €220 million (£157 million) in investment to further boost its tourist infrastructure in the wake of the recent opening of its international airport.

With more airports are also coming more flights, including direct routes from the UK, a recent example being the Cape Verde Airlines service between Stansted and Santiago, which commenced on October 29th this year, fhr-net.co.uk reported last month.

Special partnership

In addition to this, Cape Verde, while no longer a colony of Portugal, has nonetheless reiterated its European connections by forming a special partnership agreement with Brussels, afriquenligne reports. This will involve building a relationship based on issues such as good governance and stability, but also has a major economic element, with European Development Fund money being part of the deal.

Thus with Europe backing the islands politically and financially, the economy may grow even further and faster, with property investors playing their part. Cape Verde is not just an emerging market now. It is one which, as tourism, infrastructure and its economy grows, could offer a lot more emergence for property investors to make the most of.

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