The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is lending Brazilian states and municipalities US$ 1 billion to be used for financing tourism. The credit line is the result of an agreement between the bank and Brazil's federal government through its Tourism ministry.
The accord was signed last week, in the Brazilian capital Brasília, by the minister of Tourism, Marta Suplicy, and the IDB representative in Brazil, José Luis Lupo, and is part of the Tourism Development Program (Prodetur Nacional).
According to information supplied by the ministry, states and municipalities with over 1 million inhabitants will be eligible to apply for funds directly from the IDB, as long as they meet the criteria set in the agreement and do not exceed their debt capabilities.
The credits must be used within a 10-year period, and include investment in refurbishing and recovering public tourist attractions, infrastructure, transport and training of personnel.
The counterpart of the Brazilian government (federal, state and municipal) in the project is US$ 667 million, and the Ministry of Tourism will provide assistance to the states and municipalities interested in obtaining funding.
Proposals must be approved by the Ministry of Planning by means of letters of inquiry, which should list the type of tourism to be developed, the markets, segments and geographical areas to be targeted by investment.
According to the ministry, 20 states displayed interest in the financing, and the states of Santa Catarina (South), Ceará (Northeast), Goiás (Midwest), Rio Grande do Norte (North), Pará (North) and Mato Grosso do Sul (Midwest) have already submitted proposals to the Ministry of Planning. These projects total US$ 325 million in IBD funds and another US$ 216 million in local counterparts, totaling US$ 541 million.
The Ministry of Tourism also informed that the states of Amapá (North), Tocantins (North), Espírito Santo (Southeast), Sergipe (Northeast), Piauí (Northeast), Paraíba (Northeast) and Rio de Janeiro (Southeast) are preparing letters of inquiry with the support of the ministry.
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