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Boa Vista is primarily a tourist destination with little other economy. Sal Rei is the largest town and the main place to stay other than major all-inclusive resorts.
This island considered to be the birthplace of Morna, one of the main musical genres of the country, went through some economic improvement only in the beginning of the 17th century when a great amount of salt was found in it. At that time, salt was already sold in the island of Maio. Before the discovery of this product, the island's economy was based on cattle breeding, just like the other arid islands of the Archipelago Cape Verde, which had little or no water available.