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Argentina will develop tourism corridors with IDB support

Program seeks to boost tourist spending; 5,200 firms to benefit and 85 civil works projects to be carried out

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved a loan for $80 million to increase tourism spending in Argentina that will make better use of the country’s premiere tourism attractions.

The Tourism Corridor Development Program will fund projects in six high-potential areas in the Cuyo, Littoral and Patagonian regions, benefitting 5,200 companies with direct or indirect links to tourism.

The program’s specific objective is to increase tourism spending in the six corridors by $66 million over five years by increasing the average stay of visitors and extending the tourist season.

"Since positioning Argentina in the tourism sector depends heavily on natural attractions, increases in tourism depend on strengthening protected areas and related destinations as key components of the country’s tourism supply,” said Adela Moreda, IDB team leader for the project.

The program will finance 85 strategic civil works to link the six corridors with innovative attractions and circuits. The program will also finance a new set of products to attract additional tourism investment.

The program seeks to promote a shared vision of the future of tourism in each corridor through creation of a technology platform that will use joint management schemes to help integrate different public policy makers and private operators. Training activities will be carried out, and management capacity of municipalities and groups of private operators will be strengthened, with special emphasis on the inclusion of native peoples.

In addition, the program includes assessments and environmental monitoring in the target areas, updating and creation of management and public use plans for the protected areas, spatial plans and plans for urban sustainability, and plans for preventing and mitigating potential direct, indirect, and cumulative environmental impacts.

The loan is for 25 years, with a five-year grace period and a LIBOR-based interest rate. Local counterpart funding totals $25 million.

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