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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Support by European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

This webpage covers the Support by European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) strictly as part of funding projects related to tourism.

Why is it relevant to tourism?

Projects financed by the EBRD address a wide range of sustainable practices and associated market trends in tourism. Of the 39 countries where the EBRD operates, 11 are within the EU. There are 3 programmes with specific relevance to the tourism sector, providing beneficiaries with a combination of financing and technical assistance.

Overview of tourism-related components

  1. The relevant projects financed by the EBRD under the Inclusive Tourism Framework are entirely tourism related. The framework aims to help local tourism sectors grow and upgrade through investments in hotels and tourism operators.
     
  2. Under the Integrated Cultural Heritage Framework (“ICHF”), the EBRD is seeking to support a holistic and integrated approach to regional development in pilot locations where their heritage resources can act as drivers of economic growth and sustainable tourism development. The EBRD funds projects located near or within a cultural heritage site, enhancing the commercialisation of areas around cultural heritage sites by crowding in the private sector and engaging with a multitude of actors and stakeholders. This contributes to the sustainable development and the competitiveness of cultural heritage tourism. Additionally, the EBRD funds projects contributing to the sustainable management and operation of cultural heritage, projects improving connectivity and accessibility to cultural heritage sites,improving the quality and availability of amenities, municipal infrastructure, as well as projects achieving backward linkages. Strengthening cultural heritage can help to diversify tourist attractions, facilitate higher local tourism expenditure, support marketing and branding strategies of cities/regions, and create jobs in the local economy.
     
  3. The EBRD’s Advice for Small Business programme under the Small Business Initiative  supports small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from several sectors, including tourism. Through its network of international advisers and local consultants, the EBRD supports SMEs in a wide range of business areas, including strategy, digital marketing, operations, quality management, energy efficiency, financial management and beyond.

Details of the programme

  • The EBRD’s Inclusive Tourism Framework in the Eastern Mediterranean: €250 million financing framework (to end in February 2023) available to private tourism companies in Croatia, Greece, Montenegro and Turkey. The objective of the Framework is to help local tourism sectors grow and improve through investments, as well as address transition gaps and maximise the local economic impact generated by tourism. The financing is thus coupled with technical assistance for the clients in two areas: inclusion (support for the creation of trainings, HR development, equal opportunities policies) and localisation (develop tourism models that generate benefits for the wider local economies). Additionally, EBRD also provides technical assistance for resource efficiency (example: audit, sustainability, and investment plans).
  • The EBRD’s Integrated Cultural Heritage Framework has an approved budget of €150 million. It has been narrowed down to Uzbekistan in particular, with Romania and Jordan to be pursued only if and once relevant private sector pipeline projects are identified. The programme involves three main pillars:
    • Strategic Vision/Policy Dialogue: institutional engagement at national/regional/local level is pursued via entering Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) with relevant counterparties.
    • Action Plan: targeting the gaps identified during the mapping studies, through trainings, capacity building, advisory, studies, and exchange programmes.
    • Banking projects: comprising eligible EBRD-financed transactions for (i) Private sector (example: hotels, retail, restaurants, SMEs, local producers, telecom); and (ii) (Sub)Sovereign (example: buses, street lights, water, waste, electronic visa system, car parking).
  • In addition to finance, the EBRD’s Advice for Small Business programme under the Small Business Initiative provides SMEs with access to business advice and know-how in order to improve their performance and help them grow. The programme operates in Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Romania, and in several countries outside the European Union.

Tourism projects in all eligible EU countries can also be financed independently, outside the above-mentioned frameworks.

Additional information

Examples of supported projects

Inclusive Tourism Framework

Project Title: Sunce Koncern (BlueSun)

Description: Syndicated senior loan of up to €39.35 million to Sunce Koncern d.d. (the ‘Company’), a hospitality corporation established in Croatia, and its key subsidiaries. The EBRD's loan is a part of a syndicated loan structure of up to €93 million to be provided by the EBRD and commercial co-lenders for refinancing permanent working capital and selected capital expenditures on the Company's hotels. The project is a part of the Inclusive Tourism Framework and provides technical assistance to the borrower in terms of inclusion and localisation.

EU contribution: N/A

Level of EU funding: N/A

Link to project: Sunce Koncern d.d. (ebrd.com)

The projects below are part of the EBRD Advice for Small Business programme under the Small Business Initiative across the EBRD’s Countries of Operation, funded by the EU and other donors, including the Small Business Impact Fund (SBIF).

Project title: Ideal SA in Greece adopts a new business plan

Description: Ideal SA is a family-run business, first established by two brothers in 2000 in Heraklion, on the island of Crete, Greece. The company works in the industrial laundry and linen rental industry, servicing customers in the hospitality and tourism sectors, and is committed to environmental sustainability. The company aimed to get its foot in different regional markets, but first needed to identify key areas for improvement and establish the necessary checks and controls in the current company structure to allow for expansion abroad. Ideal SA sought the EBRD’s support in order to develop a business plan that would undergird future growth. In 2021, with help from the EBRD and the European Union (through the EIB’s European Investment Advisory Hub), Ideal SA received advice from an expert in developing a pro-active methodology to access viable new markets.

EU contribution: €9,660 (EIB/EIAH)

Level of EU funding: 70%

Link to project: www.idealsa.gr

 

Project Title: Strategic planning and development for Burgozone EOOD winery

Description: Burgozone EOOD is a boutique, family-owned wine producer in Bulgaria. Perched on the slopes of the Danube river, close to the port city of Oryahovo, and overlooking the island of Esperanto, Burgozone is named after the Roman fortress built on the ancient road called Via Istrum. Overtime, this area developed into an important winemaking region. Burgozone chose to base itself in the unique terrain of the Danube river, known to produce some of the best quality grapes. In 2019, with support from the EBRD and the European Union (through the European Investment Bank’s European Investment Advisory Hub), the company hired a consultant to prepare a detailed business plan to use as a basis for securing a strategic partner for funding.

EU contribution: €10,430 (EIB/EIAH)

Level of EU funding: 70%

Link to project: https://www.burgozone.bg

Database of examples

Not available