Signing the accord will be Patricia R. Francis, ITC’s Executive Director, and Fabio Barbosa, President of Grupo Santander Brasil.
“Brazil’s tourism is not contributing enough to its export earnings, and where it does, poor communities rarely benefit,” said ITC’s Executive Director Ms Francis. “Our Programme to ensure that Communities Benefit From Tourism can help change that.”
The accord will give Grupo Santander Brasil access to ITC’s training modules and experience, which focuses on working with tourism operators and hotels to encourage local hiring and local sourcing of services and products. “With 10 more resorts to be built over the next three to five years, now is the time to invest in Brazil’s people in order to create export impact for good,” added Ms Francis.
ITC’s latest project along the Coconut Coast, launched last summer, helps poor producers sell products and services to hotel resorts. The project offers incentives for apiculture, agribusiness and cultural products of the region; creates cooperatives to improve marketing opportunities; sets up computer centres that expand Internet access and Human Resource Development; and ensures that products and services are offered at the quality standards required to sell into the Tourism Industry. Training facilities are to be created, along with a project for financial incentives to use clean technology.
“ITC is an ideal partner for us, since our objectives and ideals are so much alike,” said Julio Bin, Director of Sustainable Business Development at Grupo Santander Brasil. “Partnership is very important in this process.”
The bank provides financial services that range from microfinance to multi-million dollar project finance as part of a “Real Tourism” initiative. It sees a lack of infrastructure and qualified people in Brazil as critical challenges to development.