Destination Council Programme in Sal, Cape Verde
In 2013, The Travel Foundation facilitated the creation of a multi-stakeholder platform – Sal Destination Council, which has brought together senior staff from public, private and third sectors to meet quarterly and discuss issues associated with tourism, exchange experience, and develop solutions.
The objective of the programme is to contribute to the long-term sustainability of the destination by encouraging cross sector collaboration in a manner that identifies key tourism impacts and provides the means to reduce negative impacts and maximize positive benefits to the local population. A Destination Council of 20 public and private organisations was established in 2013. The council oversees the implementation of sustainable tourism initiatives starting initially with 'quick win' projects to raise awareness and garner local engagement. (1) Rollout of training to 32 local craft producers who now show an increased knowledge of tourist expectations for product development and are actively taking initiatives to increase market access in hotels. (2) 3 beach cleans were organised resulting in hotels, local businesses and residents organising their own regular beach clean events. (3) New signage was installed on the destination's main beaches to raise environmental awareness. (4) Training was rolled out to 44 local guides increasing their local knowledge of the destination, as well as on good practice guidelines for turtle-watching which will inform a planned national guiding scheme. A local NGO has reported an increase in good practice and self-regulation from observed guides. (5) Workshops were held with hotel reception and holiday rep staff in 12 hotels who now have more knowledge about the destination and what to recommend to guests. In addition, 5000 'Insider guides' have been distributed to hotel guests encouraging them to explore the local area.; A strategic impact assessment was also conducted in 2016 with energy, water and waste being identified as the most material impacts affecting Sal. Projects addressing these impacts have been developed with the aim to improve resource efficiency and this will be the focus of future activities.
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