A loan of €150 million has been granted by the European Investment Bank (EIB) to the Austrian tourism development bank Österreichische Hotel-und Tourismusbank (ÖHT) in order to support the tourism development.
Through a statement issued on January 23, the EIB emphasized that the loan will be paid in several installments and will simultaneously support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the leisure and tourism industry in Austria, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
In addition, the loan was created on the basis of enabling family-run hotels and restaurants to invest in sustainable projects.
“Based in Vienna, ÖHT is a financial institution specialised in the tourism industry. It was founded in 1947 to support tourism development and is governed by the Austrian SME Support Act. It operates exclusively in Austria in support of public policies. It is owned by Oesterreichische Kontrollbank AG and Raiffeisenbank International AG,” the statement reads.
The EIB and ÖHT have been partners for a long time successfully financing sustainable tourism in Austria, however this is the first financing operation specifically dedicated to investments in sustainable projects.
Tourism is among the most significant sectors in Austria while the majority of businesses are family-owned, which means that ÖHT’s customer base consists mostly of small and medium-sized businesses.
As for ÖHT, it will supplement the EIB loan with at least the same amount, thus bringing the total available for additional long-term investments to €300 million.
With these funds, the BEI and ÖHT will be able to help in the development of the private sector, especially in the creation of jobs and sustainable economic growth.
In this regard, EIB Vice President Thomas Östros said that tourism is of great importance to the Austrian economy, thus helping to create jobs and economic growth due to the large number of small family hotels and restaurants.
Ostros also noted that he feels satisfied with the support being given to the environmentally friendly transformation of this sector alongside ÖHT.
Meanwhile, ÖHT Managing Director Matthias Matzer added that one of the most important strategic goals is the active formation of the green transformation of tourism through assisted financing solutions. According to him, ÖHT is tasked with making sustainability one of its future priorities.
Moreover, the EIB works closely with other EU institutions to promote European integration, to further develop the European Union and to promote EU policy objectives in more than 140 countries around the world.