Tourism and nature in São Tomé and Príncipe

Opportunities for the internationalisation of a Small Island State

Authored by: Brígida Rocha Brito

Routledge Handbook of Tourism in Africa

Print publication date:  November  2020
Online publication date:  November  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138496088
eBook ISBN: 9781351022545
Adobe ISBN:


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In the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe, the investment in tourism as a strategic sector coincided with the transition of the millennium, being particularly based on the natural potential of this Small Island Development State. The geographical location of the archipelago in the Gulf of Guinea, the proximity to the West African coast, is internationally classified as part of the sub-region of Central Africa, provides particular climatic and environmental characteristics. On the one hand, the diversity of its landscapes; on the other hand, the biodiversity and endemism of its species of flora and fauna; and, finally, the relative weight of protected areas concerning the entire territory represents a comparative advantage of the country as an international tourist destination. Together with the environmental potentialities, that favour the emergence and the implementation of tourism segments, such as the nature tourism and the cultural particularities resulting from a miscegenated and Creole society reinforce the relevance of the sector in the promotion of national development. Despite the fact that national policies through Strategic Plans promote actions to boost the tourism industry, which is evidenced by the diversification of the supply, including international offer, and the number of international arrivals reflecting an increase in the interest and the demand, the sustainability of tourism continues to be defined as a long-term goal to be achieved.

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