To receive funding under the Financing Facility or LFF, the hotels must be capable of obtaining Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. LEED, which has become the dominant standard for green building design, requires buildings to meet specific parameters in areas such as energy conservation, efficiency in water use, CO2 emissions, improved indoor environmental quality and resource management.
In addition to its economic and environmental benefits, LEED certification can be a powerful marketing tool that could generate greater foreign exchange earnings and more employment in the tourism and hospitality sector in the countries participating in the LFF.
In Latin America and the Caribbean, most of the LEED-certified buildings completed until now have been offices or commercial spaces located primarily in Mexico and Brazil.
The hotels financed under the LFF will be the first LEED-certified Marriott hotels in the participating countries. The LFF is the first private sector financing in the tourism and hospitality sector provided through the IDB’s Structured and Corporate Financing Department (SCF) and follows the development of the IDB’s Sustainable Tourism Scorecard.
Caribe Hospitality S.A., a holding company headquartered in Cost Rica created to develop Marriott-operated hotels in the Central American and Caribbean regions, will develop the projects and Marriott International, Inc., will be responsible for running them.
The first hotel to be financed under the LFF is a Marriott Courtyard of 127 rooms in Alajuela, near the Juan Santamaría International Airport, 20 kilometers from San José, Costa Rica.
- Silvia Dangond