The number of workers employed in Cape Verde’s hotel establishments fell by 83% at the end of 2020, to less than 1,600, compared to 2019, according to data from the National Statistics Institute (INE).
According to the Annual Hotel Establishment Inventory released today by Cape Verde’s INE, these establishments directly employed 9,050 workers at the end of 2019 (after a maximum of 9,417 in 2018), a record that dropped to 1,577 last December, in a year in which, after the month of March, the archipelago practically had no foreign tourists, due to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic of covid-19.
Of this total, 58.1% were women and, despite the strong drop in demand – without international flights from March to December – the island of Sal continued to lead in total of workers in the sector in service, with 35%, followed by Santiago ( Praia), with 33.1%.
The island of Boa Vista, the second most sought after by foreign tourists, closed 2020 with just 27 workers in the hotel units and received the first international flight this month, from Italy, more than a year after the last air connection.
Part of the loss of these jobs has been absorbed by the simplified lay-off regime approved by the Cape Verdean Government and in force for a year, guaranteeing 70% of the salary.
At the end of 2020, hotels continued to employ the largest number of workers, representing around 70.9% of the total number of employed persons, followed by pensions (14.1%) and residential (7.7%).
INE points out that the vast majority of the personnel employed in the sector at the end of 2020 were national (95.3%) and that 54.7% had a fixed-term contract and 36.7% had a permanent contract, but 8.6% of these workers did not. they had any contract. Of the workers with fixed-term contracts, 48.1% were for one year, 27.4% for six months and 24.5% had only three months.
In addition to representing 25% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), with a record 819 thousand tourists in 2019, tourism employed more than 20% of workers in Cape Verde before the crisis caused by the pandemic. In 2020, Cape Verde hotels, according to previous INE data, lost more than 610 thousand guests compared to the previous year.
Cape Verde has recorded, since the beginning of the pandemic in the country, in March 2020, a total of 165 deaths associated with covid-19 and 17,190 cases of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection.