The Inter-American Development Bank approved a $15 million loan to help Brazil's tourism industry expand at national, state, and municipal level in order to take full advantage of its potential.
While international tourism receipts have tripled to $5.8 billion between 2000 and 2008, the tourism supply remains essentially concentrated along the country's coastline at the expense of other high-quality attractions primarily due to lack of direct connections to many destinations, infrastructure and service shortcomings, and insufficient access to, up-to-date market data, skilled human resources and effective marketing formulas. Brazilian tourism is also hobbled by a scarce coordination between the different government levels.
The IDB loan will support the government's National Tourism Development Program (PRODETUR Nacional) designed to overcome such challenges by making Brazilian tourism destinations more competitive and to consolidate national tourism policy through decentralized, cooperative public management.
The program has three components:
- Strengthening of national tourism governance by improving the market information and statistics system and training for Tourism Ministry staff on investment projects.
- Support for the preparation of tourism development plans at state and municipal levels, under consistent strategic and technical guidelines.
- Support for state and municipal investments under PRODETUR, including the setting up of a technical structure integrated by different specialists that will help to implement local projects under shared and common methodologies.
The loan is for a 20-year term, including a 4-year grace period, and carries a LIBOR-based variable interest rate. An additional $10 million will be provided in local counterpart funds.
- Peter Bate