Bahia to develop nautical and cultural heritage tourism to boost employment
Bahia state, in northeastern Brazil, will receive a $50.8 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to further develop its tourism industry and boost employment.
The project, structured as a multiple works loan under the country’s PRODETUR Program, will invest in a tourism product and marketing strategy, focusing particularly on the state’s nautical and cultural heritage assets, institution-strengthening, improvement of basic services, and socio-environmental management at tourism destinations.
Tourism employs over 150,000 people in the state and accounts for 7.5 percent of Bahia’s gross domestic product, three times the national average. Despite significant tourism growth in recent years, Bahia has struggled to generate enough jobs in the sector to help reduce poverty. In 2010, the state registered more than twice the national average of extreme poverty (14.1 percent compared to 6.3 percent).
The project is expected to create more than 1,600 direct jobs as well as support the construction of a network of boating facilities and cultural and nautical tourism providers. The program will provide support for entrepreneurship in the tourism sector and provide vocational training for as many as 200 people in nautical and cultural tourism.
The IDB loan has a 25-year maturity and a 66-month grace period. Local counterpart financing from Bahia totals $33.9 million.