Jarrett has been awarded the accolade for not only his contribution to the economic and social development of the country, but also the creation of hundreds of jobs.
The honour, which is one of the highest accolades awarded by the Government, formed part of independence celebrations that took place in Cape Verde yesterday as the archipelago celebrated its independence from the Portuguese 42 years ago.
The Resort Group plc is a world-class luxury resort hospitality company specialising in developing and operating 5-star holiday resorts and hotels. The Company has strategic partnerships with world leading hotels and tour operators, of which include TUI Travel, Melia Hotels International, Steigenberger Hotels and Resorts and Hilton Worldwide. In 2016, TRG opened Sal’s first adult-only hotels, TUI Sensimar Cabo Verde and Melia Llana Beach Resort – adding to the existing two resorts in operation on the Island of Sal. TRG is directly responsible for employing more than 2,000 people and over 90 percent of these employees are Cape Verdean.
Since Jarrett has invested in developing Cape Verde, tourism figures have risen significantly. According to the National Statistics Institute in Cape Verde, foreign visitors to the archipelago have increased 13.6 percent in 2016, with tourists from the UK, Germany, Portugal and France choosing to spend the most time on the islands. Tourism represents 21 percent of the country’s GDP and is one of the main sources of employment in the country.
Furthermore, in 2011 Jarrett established The Cape Verde Foundation to support and make a positive contribution to the people and local communities of Cape Verde. Organised and managed by TRG staff across the Company, it is a group wide effort in social responsibility to help the local children of Cape Verde.
Joaquim Arena, culture advisor to the Presidency of the Republic, said: “The tourism sector has been and will be crucial for the economic development of Cape Verde. The continued investment and support from entrepreneurs such as Rob Jarrett is key to the continued success of Cape Verde as we look to firmly establish the country as a burgeoning tourist destination on the world stage.”
This is the second time Jarrett has been awarded the Merit Medal. In September 2015, he was awarded the Merit Medal for tourism by the Municipality of Sal in Cape Verde. The honour recognised Rob’s positive contribution to tourist development on the Island of Sal.
Rob Jarrett added: “I am deeply humbled to receive such a prestigious award. The Resort Group plc is committed to developing Cape Verde as a successful tourist destination whilst maintaining Cape Verde’s culture, improving infrastructure and supporting its local people by offering new opportunities and sources of employment. Cape Verde is a beautiful country, home to passionate people and I have been privileged over the years to meet wonderful friends and colleagues who share in this vision.”
The decoration ceremony took place at the Presidential Palace, in Praia, on July 5th and is awarded by the highest magistrate in the country. The 5th July marks Cape Verde’s independence from Portugal in 1975.