IDB Invest Launches Innovative Financing Program with Namu to Support MSMEs in Tourism across Latin America and the Caribbean
IDB Invest partnered with Namu Travel Group, one of the premier travel agencies in Central America and the Caribbean, to issue a $5 million credit facility to support the working capital needs of local tourism companies, most of which are micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). The agreement was announced in San Jose, Costa Rica with the participation of Francisco Javier Urra, IDB Group Representative for Costa Rica, and Casey Halloran, Namu’s Co-Owner.
Travel agencies play a pivotal role in the tourism sector in Latin America and the Caribbean by connecting travelers to local tourism providers, the majority of which are MSMEs. IDB Invest’s financing will directly support Namu’s value chain through its Advanced Payment Program, which will allow it to secure credits for pre-purchased hotel room nights and services provided by tour operators and ground transportation companies in a variety of destinations such as Costa Rica, Belize, Panama, Colombia, and Guatemala.
This financing will allow companies that participate in Namu’s ecosystem to finance their working capital needs in a more efficient manner by receiving immediate payment for hospitality services that will be delivered in the future. This alternative source of short-term financing will provide much-needed liquidity for these companies, which in turn should allow them to improve their product offerings and enhance their services and overall competitiveness.
“We are pleased to partner with Namu, a travel agency that for over two decades has demonstrated its unwavering commitment to the region, so that we can help it further generate a positive impact in the tourism sector in Latin America and the Caribbean,” said Javier Urra, IDB Group Representative for Costa Rica. “This is an innovative financing solution that can be replicated and that demonstrates our continued support of private sector investments aimed at scaling impact and improving lives in the region.”
“Through the Advance Payment Program, we expect to continue to support our supplier network and provide them with liquidity so that they may attend to their day-to-day needs,” said Casey Halloran, Namu’s Co-Owner. “By targeting the MSMEs in our ecosystem, we will help strengthen their financial sustainability so they may continue to improve the quality of their tourism offerings and services,” he expanded.
Additionally, as part of its development impact mandate, IDB Invest is providing advisory services to help Namu define sustainability indicators to assess those companies within its provider network that demonstrate the highest environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards. By developing a comprehensive sustainability framework to enhance ESG performance among these providers, the company will obtain financial incentives to further encourage companies to adopt stronger sustainability measures. Namu aims to promote the adoption of responsible and sustainable tourism practices in the region by increasing awareness around an ESG agenda.
The project is expected to contribute to the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG 8), and Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure (SDG 9).
About IDB Invest
IDB Invest, a member of the Inter-American Development Bank Group, is a multilateral development bank committed to promoting the economic development of its member countries in Latin America and the Caribbean through the private sector. IDB Invest finances sustainable companies and projects to achieve financial results and maximize economic, social, and environmental development in the region. With a portfolio of $16.3 billion in assets under management and over 390 clients in 25 countries, IDB Invest provides innovative financial solutions and advisory services that meet the needs of its clients in a variety of industries.
About Namu Travel Group
Founded in Costa Rica in 1999, Namu Travel is a luxury travel agency active in six countries in Latin America. With a team of 150 local employees, it delivers tailored vacations to families, couples, and groups interested in highly customized, uniquely local experiences. Its philosophy is that each guest has its own “Travel Personality” and the company carefully matches them with curated hotels and guides that enhance the overall experience. Namu develops close relationships with its clients and travel agency partners, matching guests with the destinations, hotels and activities that fit their specific travel profile. It is this eye for detail and prideful craftsmanship that make their travel experiences unforgettable.