Sandstorm leaves Dutch tourists stranded on Cape Verde island

Marine Club Beach Resort Boavista, Boa Vista, Cape Verde
Marine Club Beach Resort Boavista, Boa Vista, Cape VerdePhoto: Ximonic / Wikimedia Commons

A sandstorm on the Cape Verde island of Boa Vista on Christmas Day has 80 Dutch tourists still stranded at their holiday destination. "It's never been so bad. Normally a sandstorm does not stay long in the same place", Petra Kok, spokesperson for travel agency TUI, said to newspaper AD. She emphasized that, while stranded, the tourists are safe. "People can simply stay in their hotel and the situation outside is not dangerous."

The sandstorm means that the airport is shut tight, due to very poor visibility. New travelers can not reach their destination and travelers on the island can not leave. "We look from day to day. We obviously hope that the sky clears tomorrow. It is annoying that more and more aggrieved travelers can not go home or people can not reach their holiday destination, but that is force majeure", the spokesperson said.

Stranded travelers do not have to pay for the extra days stayed in their hotels.TUI is also working with travelers unable to reach the island to look for alternative destinations. Travelers who opt to stay in the Netherlands will be refunded. 

Cape Verde is one of the most popular winter destinations for Dutch travelers.