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Date: 21/09/2007
BOA VISTA RECEIVES INVESTMENT OF 33 BILLION ESCUDOS FOR INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS



The island of Boa Vista will be 'better prepared' for the development of a sustainable, quality, environmentally and socially aware tourist sector in the opinion of the administrative council president of the Boa Vista and Maio Integrated Tourist Development Corporation, Joao Serra, as the result pf the signing of a partnership protocol with the BUCAN consortium. The accord calls for some 33 billion Cape Verdean Escudos (approximately €300 million) in investments to improve the island's infrastructure.

The accord calls for major infra-structuring in the energy, water production, sewage and residual water treatment sectors. It is hoped these investments will cover the needs of the tourist enterprises located in Boa Vista's integrated tourist development zones, as well as those of the population of the entire island.

Investments will also be made in the construction of a road linking Boa Vista International Airport to the Santa Monica and Lacacao zone and the rehabilitation of Sal Rei sea port in order to respond to the tourist development needs over the next six years.

The protocol also calls for the construction of housing units, the creation of a fund aimed at promoting income and employment generating initiatives and the infra-structuring of 450 hectares of land for tourism related real-estate projects.

Also included in the protocol are investments in tourist infrastructure, such as the construction of a five-star hotel with 2000 rooms by the RIU business group, and another 500 room luxury hotel. The RIU hotel alone is expected to guarantee 152,000 tourists a year and 15 international flights per week, as well as the creation of 1,389 direct job posts and more than 3,000 indirect jobs.

These investments, according to Serra, who until last year was Cape Verde's Minister of Finances and Public Administration, will help to make quality tourism on the island of Boa Vista viable. "We'll have better access to the integrated tourist development zones and development of the south of the island, not to mention the integration of the population in the development of the tourist industry on the island. After all, we dont't want to build beautiful hotels only to have shanty towns and ghettos alongside them."

The manager of the BUCAN consortium, Francisco Ufano, also stressed the importance of "not marginalising the population" with regards to tourist development, and guarantees that the group will continue to collaborate in the progress of Cape Verde.

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