IDB approves $106 million loan to support tourism in El Salvador

Tourists are pictured at El Tunco beach in Tamanique, El Salvador, August 1, 2017. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas/File Photo

SAN SALVADOR, Sept 28 (Reuters) - The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a $106 million loan to support the recovery and expansion of El Salvador's tourism sector, the institution said in a statement on Wednesday.

The funds will be directed to projects focused on environmental sustainability, employment and the reduction of gender gaps.

The bank noted the Central American country needs adequate management for its tourist destinations, as well as an environmental legislative framework that regulates aspects such as coastal management and solutions for access to drinking water and solid waste services.

"The operation approved by the IDB will allow strategic investments in resilient public infrastructure, with special attention to those scenarios most exposed to the onslaught of climate change," the financial organization said in a statement.

The funds will also help create seawalls for the restoration of critical ecosystems and foster sustainability plans for tourist destinations.

Some 960,000 people will benefit from the different projects, IDB said.

In 2021, El Salvador received 1.2 million tourists, 122% more than in 2020, a year hampered by border closures and quarantines imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The country captured $1.5 billion in tourism revenues last year, which represented 5.09% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP), according to official figures.

Reporting by Nelson Renteria; Editing by Sandra Maler

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