Home|Tourist hotels and lodges in Sao Tome
Tropical weather and unspoiled landscapes buoying travel and tourism
Although the absence or underdevelopment of many travel-and-tourism-related infrastructures is a barrier to travel and tourism, this is also one of the characteristic features of the archipelago. Many tourists, especially Portuguese tourists, are interested in São Tomé and Príncipe mainly because of its relaxing and tropical unspoiled landscapes, which are favourable to leisurely and restful holidays in beach resorts. In addition, due to the historic connection from the time of colonisation, the emerging niche category of visiting the former coffee and sugar plantations designated as ‘Roças’ has also been an attractive factor.
High dependency on private foreign investment
Like the economy in general, travel and tourism is extremely dependent on private foreign investments in order to subsist. Three of the most important travel accommodation facilities on São Tomé Island are owned by the Portuguese travel accommodation company the Pestana Group. In addition, international flights from São Tomé and Príncipe Airways, the national air transportation company, are fulfilled by EuroAtlantic Airways, a privately owned air transportation company also belonging to the Pestana Group. Although this foreign investment is a source of improved know-how, which is beneficial to the growth of the market, it creates vulnerability in terms of the fragile development of the country and, in particular, of travel and tourism.
Oil exploration as a factor in developing travel and tourism
As of 2013, travel and tourism is the main economic influence in São Tomé and Príncipe’s GDP growth. Nevertheless, preparatory works to start oil exploration are already underway and, according to a number of experts, the market is expected to begin its expansion in 2015 at the latest. This is likely to be beneficial in terms of the overall financial system and especially travel and tourism. Although as of 2013 leisure tourism is the economic mainstay of the country, in the forecast period business tourism is likely to see outstanding volume growth as a result of the emerging exploration markets.
Stronger economy fuelling all categories
Driven by travel and tourism as well as by the oil exploration market, São Tomé and Príncipe’s economy will see a healthy performance over the forecast period. This will allow the government to increase investments to upgrade and build new social and travel-and-tourism-related infrastructures and services, such as roads, public transport and communication networks, among others. If this situation materialises, travel and tourism in the country will become more appealing in 2012-2017, boosting the number of arrivals and, consequently, performance in all categories.
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