On September 28th, Finance Alliance for Sustainable Trade (FAST) and OLACT signed a cooperation agreement, under which both organizations will work together to implement financing programs for tourism projects in Latin-America and the Caribbean.
One of the first actions taken through this agreement will be generating a market study to identify the needs of financing and the opportunities of investment in the tourism sector as well as the risks involved in it.
“This is the first step of collaboration for a sustainable tourism sector to insure that the investment opportunities can be presented to the member institutions of FAST that have a strong orientation towards projects of high social impact, environmentally friendly and economically viable. In this way the financial partners will be able to evaluate the benefits of investing in this sector”. Said Noemí Pérez, Executive Director of FAST.
The Agreement also proposes to give training to OLACT´s members and other partners concerning FAST´s tools and practices, for example on the online platform “Financial Marketplace” that allows the interconnection between financial services providers and sustainable SMEs (marketplace.fastinternational.org).
During the last years FAST has allowed several producers in agricultural sectors to access international financing, and now through this agreement between FAST and OLACT the tourism sector of Latin-America and the Caribbean will also be able to promote the investment opportunities in this sector and eventually benefit from appropriate credit, which constitutes a great need for the tourism sector firms.
“With this agreement, OLACT reinforced its project financing area, one of the three working programs in OLACT, where our members have identified a growing need to access financing for sustainable and responsible tourism projects, they have also showed a keen interest in the actions that both organizations will take”, added César Castañeda, Secretary General of OLACT.
The Agreement was signed in FAST´s head office in Montreal, Canada by the Executive Director of FAST Ms. Noemí Pérez and Mr. César Castañeda Vázquez del Mercado, Secretary General of OLACT.
The OLACT is a not-for-profit organization aiming at fostering cooperation within the Latin-American and Caribbean tourism industry, strengthening measures to protect the environment through the tourism activity and promoting the improvement of quality in the offer, promotion and exchange of tourism services. To achieve its mission, the OLACT offers technical, practical and tangible assistance to its international, national, regional and local public and private members. The OLACT´s headquarters are located inMexico Cityand counts with a multinational team of professionals from several countries of Latin-American and theCaribbean.
As an internationally focused, member driven, non-profit association, the Finance Alliance for Sustainable Trade (FAST) represents financial institutions and sustainable producers dedicated to sustainable production, and trade of sustainable products. Launched in May 2007, FAST is the pioneer in bringing together a diverse group of stakeholders, working collectively to bridge the financing gap in the sustainable Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) finance sector. Members include socially oriented and alternative lending institutions, SME producers, development institutions and other stakeholders in the agricultural commodities supply chain. Visit www.fastinternational.org
Efraín Angulo, Public Relations
Javier Leal, Comunications coordinator
Source: Organización Latinoamericana y del Caribe de Turismo (OLACT) and Finance Alliance for Sustainable Trade (FAST)