• Thursday, May 23, 2024
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How Steven Ndukwu put Cape Verde on Africa’s tourism radar

How Steven Ndukwu put Cape Verde on Africa’s tourism radar

Tourism in Cape Verde, an archipelago or a group of islands off the coast of West Africa, took root in the 1970s on the island of Sal. Slowly but steadily, the industry blossomed through the 1980s and 1990s, with significant contributions to the country’s economy.

By the year 2000, tourism had generated $41 million for Cape Verde’s economy. This growth was mostly from the hotel industry, which saw its contribution to the GDP soar from 2.0 percent in 1997 to 6.8 percent in 2001.

Also, the number of tourists visiting the islands surged from approximately 45,000 in 1997 to over 765,000 in 2018, according to the Cape Verdean statistics bureau. Most of these travellers hailed from the United Kingdom, Germany, and other European nations, drawn by the short flight distance, the allure of the island’s sandy beaches and picturesque landscapes.

Despite its beauty and tourism potential, Cape Verde remained relatively unknown in mainland Africa until recently, according to Steven Ndukwu, a travel and tourism influencer.

“Most people only realised this country because of the AFCON, so Cape Verde did an outstanding job in AFCON and that stirred interest in other Africans seeking to know where Cape Verde is,” he said.

Partnering with the tourism board in Cape Verde, Steven embarked on a mission to showcase the country’s attractions through his videos. These videos, garnering millions of views, not only raised awareness but also motivated new travellers, especially from Africa, to explore the beauty of Cape Verde.

“I travelled to three islands in three weeks, and the video has amassed over 1 million views in less than a month on various social media platforms,” Ndukwu added.

“A lot of people were very excited about the country, and are motivated to go visit the country for the first time.”

Ndukwu’s documentary in Cape Verde not only promoted tourism but also opened up opportunities for African investors.

“This country also is very open to African investors because, at the moment, the Europeans have over 70 percent of investments in the country,” he said.

Furthermore, the tourism influencer’s collaboration extended beyond showcasing the islands’ beauty. He actively engaged with local leaders, including mayors, to understand the challenges and opportunities facing the tourism sector.

His videos highlighted the safety and openness of Cape Verdean society, showcasing a place where political leaders walk the streets without heavy security, a rarity in many parts of the world.

These efforts have not only impacted perceptions but also created a sense of curiosity and desire among viewers to experience Cape Verde firsthand.

Steven’s work underscores the power of collaboration between content creators and tourism boards.

As he reflected on the impact of his videos, Steven expressed hope for more partnerships, stating, “The more tourism boards can collaborate with us, the more African stories we can get out there.”

His journey serves as evidence of the transformative power of storytelling in shaping perceptions and driving tourism. As Cape Verde continues to expand its horizons, Steven’s voice, and those of other content creators, will play a pivotal role in revealing Africa’s hidden gems to the world.