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IDB approves $10 million to support tourism in Bolivia

The Inter-American Development Bank today announced the approval of a $10 million soft loan to assist Bolivia in becoming a more attractive international tourist destination.

The program will provide funding for a variety of strategic actions to advance sustainable tourism development, including certification and regulation of the sector, implementation of demonstration projects and promotion of tourist attractions.

The demonstration projects will encourage joint investments and projects by the public and private sectors, as well as nongovernment organizations (NGOS) and community groups. Low-income residents living near protected sites, representing cultural heritage and environmental resources, will be encouraged to become involved in tourism and conservation activities and will benefit directly from the training, employment and entrepreneurship development that will be financed by the program.

The tourism sector represents approximately 4 percent of Bolivia's economy and 13 percent of exports. This sector's growth in Bolivia has lagged behind Latin America's as a whole and could be increased through better facilities, marketing, and a more favorable regulatory environment.

The program reflects the Bank strategy for Bolivia of supporting economic growth, human resources development, and modernization of the state.

The IDB loan is for a 40-year term, with a 10-year grace period, with a 1 percent annual interest rate during the grace period and 2 percent thereafter. Local counterpart funds are $2.5 million. The program will be carried out by Ministry of Foreign Trade and Investment.*

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