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Nicaragua to improve tourism offering with IDB financing

Nicaragua will improve tourism offerings in San Juan del Sur and Granada with a $10 million loan by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The loan will finance restoration and improvements of tourism resources in both areas as well as training and technical assistance to micro, small and medium-sized companies to improve the quality of services provided for tourists. It will also support measures to improve the planning and management capabilities of the Nicaraguan Tourism Institute (INTUR, under the Spanish acronym), the country’s leading tourism agency.

The project will increase average daily foreign tourists spending by more than 35 percent in San Juan and more than 25 percent in Granada, allowing local firms to double the number of formal tourism jobs, a move that will contribute to increase household income and reduce poverty in both locations.

In San Juan del Sur, the IDB will support the development of a cultural and leisure center; the restoration and improvement of the coastal promenade; construction of overlooks, bicycle paths and pedestrian walks along a new scenic coastal route as well as finance the reconstruction of the legendary Ruta del Oro between San Juan del Sur and La Virgen.

In Granada, one of the oldest colonial cities in Latin America and the Caribbean, the project will finance the restoration of the historic center; highlight elements of the local history and culture, and upgrade the boardwalk and small docks that serve as points of departure for tours to Lake Nicaragua.

The loan will also help finance sustainable management of tourist areas with adaptation to climate change and natural disaster risk management in coastal areas. In particular, it will include investments for land and urban planning, sustainable management of beaches, and promote the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency in the sector.

At INTUR, the loan will also help finance the redesign and the update of the system of registration, rating, control and inspection of tourism businesses; the improvement of the national tourism statistics system; as well as the updating of the sector’s regulatory framework, including environmental standards and tourism incentives for private investment. It will also strengthen the

planning and management capacity of tourism sub-national regulators in both San Juan del Sur and Granada.

Half of the IDB loan will come from the Bank’s ordinary capital. This portion has a fixed interest rate and will mature in 30 years, with a six-year grace period and a disbursement period of five years. The other half, which has a 40-year amortization and grace period, will come from the IDB’s Fund for Special Operations.

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