IIC Supports Tourism with Social Inclusion in Peru
US$3 million loan to boost cultural tourism and community development
Washington, D.C., February 27, 2013 — The Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) and Mountain Lodges of Peru S.A.C. (MLP) have signed a loan agreement for up to US$3 million. The loan proceeds will be used to build mountain lodges for adventure tourism, benefiting communities of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, located in Peru’s Cusco Region.
The project is based on a pioneering model of tourism with social inclusion in Latin America, developed with support from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group in Latin America.
“With this loan the IIC is helping establish a new cultural route to Machu Picchu, along which a series of small mountain lodges will be built,” noted Aniceto Huertas-Corcelles, the IIC’s investment officer in charge of the operation. “The project will benefit rural communities located along the route and help them form joint ventures to share in the profits of the lodges. Considering the project’s need for services and labor, it will no doubt be a significant driver of local economic activity.”
In the words of MLP’s general manager, Enrique Umbert Olazabal, “The project’s objective is to celebrate and preserve the cultural, historical, and natural heritage of the involved communities. Our intention is to rehabilitate an alternative route to the famous Inca Highway and to diversify local tourism activities. We also hope to attract affluent tourists to our region and, in so doing, offset our over-dependence on low-income travelers.”
The project grew out of an IDB initiative launched in 2010 to foster strategic partnerships between farming communities and the private sector, while respecting the land rights of the ancient ayllus of the Cusco highlands. Under the proposed model, communities retain the collective ownership of their lands by participating as direct partners in contemporary tourism ventures.
In business for more than ten years, MLP offers tourism services that include guest lodging in rural mountain lodges, hiking tours, horseback riding, as well as adventure and cultural tourism activities. The company has 150 direct employees and indirectly supports another 1,500 jobs, most of which are filled by local residents. MLP also spearheads social development and environmental sustainability programs.
About the IIC
The IIC, a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, promotes private-sector development in Latin America and the Caribbean with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). We help companies streamline management processes and provide them with financing in the form of equity investments, loans, and guarantees. In 2012, the IIC approved 73 operations for a total amount of US$378.9 million. Throughout our history, we have directly or indirectly funded more than 1.6 million loans and subloans to SMEs in Latin America and the Caribbean. For more information on the IIC, visit www.iic.org.
Contact: Aniceto Huertas-Corcelles
Telephone: +1 (202) 623-2036 in Washington, D.C.