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IDB approves $10.5 million to support community-based tourism development in southern Chile

The Inter-American Development Bank today announced the approval of a $10.5 million loan to support community-based tourism development in the provinces of Chiloé and Palena in Chile’s southern Lake District.

The program will improve tourism infrastructure, services, sanitation and environmental protection in the provinces to increase the average stay and average expenditure of tourists, raising the incomes of the residents.

Among the projects will be the restoration 16 wooden churches, which are registered on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The churches were designed using the same techniques used by shipbuilders in the 18th and early 19th centuries, and the nails and other building elements, normally made of metal, are made of wood in the churches.

The loan is the first ever to Chile by an international agency to benefit the tourism sector, and it is expected to serve as a model for cooperation of the public and private sectors for sustainable tourism development in areas that are environmentally and culturally sensitive and for community involvement in the projects.

The program will be carried out by the Subsecretaría de Desarrollo Regional y Administrativo* of the Ministry of Interior.

The IDB loan is for a 20-year term, with a four-year grace period, at a variable interest rate.

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