Enabling Sustainable Tourism Through Green Finance

Tourism is high on the list of sectors severely affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. Leveraging sustainable investments can help rethink tourism and enhance its positive impact on people and the planet in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In Mauritius, the financial sector can play a central role in the transition to a low-carbon, inclusive and sustainable development model, for example by providing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with access to green finance.

As part of our Sustainable Island Mauritius (SIM) project, many Mauritian SMEs reported that access to finance remains a big challenge in their efforts to implement sustainable practices. High-interest rates, complex application processes, and extensive collateral requirements were mentioned as serious barriers. To address this issue, the SIM project introduced the topic of Green Finance in various workshops and webinars with SMEs, supporting them to use green finance as a means to developing sustainable business.

In strategic meetings with the leadership of the Mauritius Bankers Association (MBA), the SIM project team discussed how to improve access to green finance for tourism SMEs and support them to become more competitive.

Using the information received from the banks, the SIM project developed an e-pamphlet, which the Mauritius Tourism Authority (MTA) distributed among tourism operators, including SMEs. It shows SMEs in the tourism sector the various green measures and technologies they could implement and the corresponding green funding available.

The e-pamphlet, Applying Green Strategies for Building Back Better, was launched during the project’s series of final events and is divided into three sections:

  • What is green financing & opportunities and challenges for tourism SMEs
  • Available financing schemes that support the green transition and subsequent investments
  • An e-directory featuring organisations that work with green and innovative technologies

The SIM project also organised an Open Talk on Investing in Sustainable Mauritius as one of the project’s final events. Over 40 bank representatives took part in the event that focused on questions such as, how does the future of tourism in Mauritius look like, what investments are needed for a sustainable island, and how can businesses have an improved access to green finance.

The Sustainable Island Mauritius was funded by the European Commission Switch Africa Green Programme. A key goal of the project was to support Mauritius acquire the Green Destination status by 2030.

For further questions, please contact Kartika Anggraeni.