Building Economic Sustainability through Tourism Project

Housing Bank signs agreement with USAID BEST to offer loans in tourism sector

21 Jun 2016

AMMAN (June 20) - The Housing Bank for Trade and Finance (HBTF) signed a partnership agreement with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) today that will support the provision of a new loan specifically geared towards businesses working in tourism. This initiative is part of an effort by USAID's Building Economic Sustainability through Tourism Project (BEST) to boost access to credit for small, medium, and large tourism enterprises, particularly outside Amman.

"Community-based tourism offers the authentic, unique, local and hospitable experience that many visitors seek. In particular, it is the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that service areas off the beaten track and enable local communities to benefit directly from tourism. This new loan product helps SMEs grow and expand, benefitting local communities and tourists alike," explained Russell Bauer, Director of the Economic Development and Energy Office at USAID Jordan.

"The signing of this agreement is the result of our belief in the Bank's need to support the tourism sector, one of Jordan's most vital sectors due to the importance of its contribution to the national economy, one which drives the wheel of development forward," said Mr. Ihab Al Saadi, General Manager of the Housing Bank for Trade and Finance.

This new credit line supports the Housing Bank's mission to provide its customers with the best products and services, and to meet the needs of Jordan's private sector. The loans are offered at flexible terms and preferential interest rates as an incentive for tourism businesses. USAID will provide technical assistance to community based tourism operators in preparing effective loan applications and enhancing their capacity to manage operations. The initiative aims to improve banks' willingness to provide tourism loans by demonstrating the benefits of tourism projects and businesses, and to encourage tourism entrepreneurs to apply for loans, boosting local economies around Jordan.