Fostering sustainable tourism across Latin America and the Caribbean

The IDB is a strategic partner of Latin America and the Caribbean for the development of sustainable tourism through financial and technical support. The Bank supports projects that help improve the quality of life of the poor while ensuring the preservation of the environment and the social and cultural values of the communities. Our projects help our member countries offer more competitive tourism products in international markets.

Our four main areas of action support activities linked to tourism for poverty alleviaton, tourism and conservation management, governance, and innovation.

Poverty alleviation

Tourism as a tool to fight poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean

Tourism can be an important source of job creation and social and economic inclusion. The IDB supports projects that channel visitor spending and related investments into activities that boost income of the poor and allow them to improve their quality of life.

The IDB invests and provides technical assistance for large–scale tourism projects that involve the poor in their value chains; employ and support enterprises ran by the poor, and invest in infrastructure that benefit the poor in the planned destinations.

The IDB, together with the Multilateral Investment Fund, supports training for communities, tourism operators as well as micro, small and medium-sized enterprises to expand their knowledge of business administration and marketing, and improve the quality of goods and services provided to tourists. The Bank also supports technical cooperation to promote community-based tourism networks and the participation of communities as suppliers of tourism inputs.

Tourism and conservation management

Supporting tourism that respects the environment and cultural heritage in Latin America and the Caribbean

Protected areas, national parks and marine reserves comprise some of the most valuable natural assets of Latin American and Caribbean countries. As a result, the IDB finances a wide range of programs to enhance the long-term value of these assets and expand the offering of carbon neutral tourism destinations.

We support sustainable tourism ventures that, in one hand, seek to protect the natural assets and the cultural heritage of communities that live in or near protected areas and, on the other, generate economic opportunities and benefit indigenous populations, women, rural communities and young people who depend directly on the quality and availability of natural resources.

Our projects support, for example, actions to create, enhance and market sustainable tourism destinations and specific products. We work closely with both the private sector and local authorities to plan and manage tourism activities and flows in order to ensure equitable development across different regions as well as the preservation of biodiversity and the local cultural values.

We also invest in environmental management of tourism destinations, helping local authorities to design and implement plans to manage the use of protected areas sustainably and invest in measures to protect and mitigate potential impacts stemming from tourism activities.


Investment in tourism innovation in Latin America and the Caribbean

Innovative forms of tourism are emerging, based on new consumer requirements and the intensive use of information and communication technologies. The IDB supports innovation in the design and implementation of tourism policies, as well as the adoption of new technologies and knowledge management and transfer in order to increase the performance and the efficiency of the overall tourism sector.

The projects we finance support the design and development of new tourism products, market intelligence, education and training systems, and e-marketing strategies.

The Multilateral Investment Fund, the autonomous fund of the IDB, complements these efforts through the creation and promotion of clusters of tourism businesses, particularly those involving micro, small and medium-sized companies.


Improving tourism management in Latin America and the Caribbean

The IDB works closely with governments and other stakeholders in Latin America and the Caribbean to help them get the highest development return from tourism.

The Bank finances measures that improve tourism development, marketing and promotion at a destination level through integrated management structures. For example, the IDB helps create destination management organizations to help coordinate actions.

The IDB supports the strengthening of tourism statistics systems, regulations and standards, as well as information systems and marketing efforts by member countries both at the local, regional and international levels.