The government of São Tomé & Príncipe, the Societé de Conservation et Développement (SCD) and other partners have entered a strategic partnership, aimed to develop the sustainable tourism potential of Africa’s second-smallest country.
Principe's accessibility to the world
The airport and landing strip are being upgraded and the frequency of flights between Sao Tome and Principe will be extended to seven flights a week
Revival of the Belo Monte plantation in Portuguese colonial style
One of the pillars to enforce economic development on Prncipe is the introduction of sustainable agriculture with a focus on high-value added products from coffee, cacao and vanilla
A school for children in the age 4-12 wil be built
Eco guide training Program
A program that will train young local residents to become eco guides in the Obo National Park will be started up
Eco guide training Program
The eco guides will for example accompany tourists during their visit to the National Park and assist scientists during their reseach
Hospitality training Program
Young people will be trained to work in the hospitality industry
New resort development
Close to Belo Monte on the Macaco Beach (Praia Macaco) and the Boi Beach (Praia Boi) a new luxury beach resort will be build with approximately sixty beds
New resort development
In the southern part of the island an eco camp at the mouth of Rio Sao Tome will be realized
With a population of only about 5,000 people the Príncipe development plan offers a platform to draw the island out of poverty without jeopardising the pristine surroundings. Príncipe will be transformed into a fully self-supporting economy, driven by sustainable tourism and development. The developments will consist out of four major pillars:
Pillar 1: Accessibility
Príncipe’s first priority is to become accessible to the world, which will be achieved by upgrading the current airport facilities to international standards and by operating inter-island flights. The extension of the airstrip will offer larger aircraft to land and the Art Deco style airport building will be transformed in an open and comfortable point of arrival and departure. The frequency of flights between Sao Tome and Principe will be up scaled to seven flights a week.
Pillar 2: Economic growth: tourism & agriculture
The sustainable economic growth will be achieved by giving a strong impuls to the ecotourism potential of the island. A total of 140 extra beds will be realized on different sites on the island. Whether a client wishes to emerge himself into nature and explore the untouched rainforest with an eco camp as base or relax at the deck of his private villa at Belo Monte, all will be possible in 2013 when the new accommodations will be finished.
In the north east the former plantation Belo Monte will be restored in its original style, embracing the Portuguese colonial architecture. The project will consist out of a small scale luxury boutique hotel and several private villas. The plantation will be brought back in operation with the aim to produce coffee and cacao on a small basis generating employment for the local residents.
Close to Belo Monte on the Macaco Beach (Praia Macaco) and the Boi Beach (Praia Boi) a new luxury beach resort will be build with approximately sixty beds.
The Bom Bom Island Resort at the northern tip of the island will rebuild into a small private beach resort with three luxury villas.
In the south of the island at the mouth of Rio Sao Tome an eco camp will be build from where the Obo National Park can be explored.
All new accommodation will be build according to the following principles:
- Useof sustainable building materials
- Using renewable sources of energy such as solar power
- Strict waste management rules, self filtering water systems
- In coherence with landscape and cultural heritage
One of the other measurement to enforce economic development on Príncipe is the introduction of sustainable agriculture and fishery. Designated zones on the island will be developed for agriculture to make the island less dependent on food import. With the new tourism accommodations sufficient market will be created to secure employment.
Pillar 3: Education
To ensure employment for the local people and avoid too much import from abroad it is essential education and training will be a principle pillar in the Príncipe Development Plan. The education project will focus on the following themes:
- Elementary education: building and operating a school for children in the age 4-12
- Eco guide training Program: a program that will train young local residents to become eco guides in the Obo National Park.
- Hospitality training Program: a program that will train young local residents to work in the hospitality industry.
- Construction training Program: a ‘training on the job’ program in which local residents will receive training during their job at the constructions of the new accommodations and infrastructure.
Pillar 4: National Park Management
Apart from special zones that will be assigned for housing, agriculture and infrastructure the total surface of Principe will be appointed as National Park. The National Park Management will be responsible for:
- Training of eco guides
- Performing and assisting with scientific research on the flora and fauna of the island
- Executing patrols on illegal logging
- Setting standards on managing tourism activities in the park
- Informational and educational function on the National Park for local people, press, students and tourists
The National Park activities will be funded by the revenues generated from tourism income.
The upgrade of the airport facilities on Príncipe has recently started and is expected to be ready December 2010, thereby improving the landing strip, airport infrastructures and adding runway illumination.
The construction of the new accommodations and infrastructure will start end of 2010 and will be ready in 2013.
The equatorial islands of São Tomé & Príncipe lie in the Atlantic Ocean approximately 250 kilometres off the west coast of Central Africa. These islands form one of the smallest independent states in the world, located on an alignment of once-active volcanoes, with rugged landscapes, dense primary tropical forests and beaches of black and white sand. Amidst these lush surroundings, you will find many exotic plants and flowers – new orchid species are discovered here regularly – and birdwatchers can look out for 143 species of birds, of which 26 are endemic.