Cape Verde Law Firm | Carla Monteiro & Associados - Legal Regime for Facilities, Management and Operation of Tourist Accommodation Enterprises

Carla Monteiro

Tuesday, 31 Jan 2023

Legal Regime for Facilities, Management and Operation of Tourist Accommodation Enterprises

With the objective of guaranteeing the sustainability, quality and competitiveness of tourism, eliminating clandestine and unfair competition experienced within this sector, so that the business environment is more attractive for enhancing Cape Verde’s tourism, in short, in order to consolidate Cape Verde as a tourist destination, Decree-Law no. 45/2022 (DL) was created.

The Decree-Law came into force on 8 October 2022, and it establishes the legal regime for the installation, management and operation of tourist accommodation projects.

The present legal diploma allows tourism agents and service providers to use the expression Morabeza – a typical Cape Verdean Creole word – as a tool to approach tourists and to demonstrate the kindness and hospitality of the Cape Verdean communities.

According to this DL, every action and/or initiative, promoted by tourism agents, whether welcoming, hosting or any other form that demonstrates hospitality, must be balanced so that the culture, language, habits and traditions of the host communities and tourists can be respected.

According to the same, any action or initiative of this nature must be exercised in harmony with the right to rest, well-being and raising the quality of life of the communities hosting tourism.

As regards the rights of tourists, they must be protected from all misleading information and advertising, in addition to the right to receive from the tourist accommodation establishment, in advance, objective, reliable and comprehensible information about the contracting of the services they offer, as well as the final prices, while, as a duty, they are required to comply with the rules of respect, politeness, coexistence, dress and hygiene so that they can properly use the tourist establishments and services, in addition to the duty to respect the traditions and social practices of the people in the host communities.

Its precepts state that any tourist activity that promotes child labour, sexual exploitation and in general any form of exploitation of the human being is prohibited, which shows a clear superior interest and respect for human rights.

It is also noted that all and any form of promotion, tolerance to any form of discrimination on the grounds of race, sex, gender, religious and ideological conviction, age and sexual orientation is also prohibited, under penalty of administrative, criminal or civil liability, as the case may be.

It also imposes a prohibition on refusing access to tourist resorts on the grounds listed above, among others.

This DL also foresees the need for each tourist accommodation project to have a declaration of interest for tourism, as a way of recognizing its importance, as this declaration is the first procedural step in the licensing of the activity. The installation of these tourist developments is preceded by the issuing of a tourism installation license.

This Decree Law proceeds to classify these tourist resorts by category, with a view to attributing, confirming, or altering the typology, and when applicable, the group and category of the same.

In terms of monitoring, it is up to the competent authorities for tourism, the environment, local authorities and cultural heritage to ensure compliance with this legislation.

The administrative offences provided for in this statute are punishable by fines of up to PTE 300,000 (three hundred thousand escudos), if the offender is a natural person, or up to PTE 1,000,000 (one million escudos), if the offender is a legal person, in addition to the possibility of some accessory penalties.

The Decree-Law in question revoked Decree-Law No 35/2014 of 17 July, which establishes the Tourism Activity Exercise Regime in Rural Areas and Rural Zones, and Decree-Law No 4/94 of 14 March, which regulates aspects on the Installation of Hotel Establishments, Classification, Opening, Discipline and Operation.

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