The travel and tourism industry is critical to the global economy. This resilient industry is a leading generator of jobs and tends to outpace the growth of other major industries including manufacturing, financial services and retail. In 2012, tourism contributed to 9% of global GDP ($6.6 trillion) and generated over 260 million jobs—1 out of 11 of jobs worldwide.
In the longer-term, Solimar believes that demand from and within emerging markets will continue to rise in significance. We assist these destinations with attracting investments in infrastructure to meet demand and achieve the clear growth potential that exists. Solimar provides end-to-end investment promotion solutions, including prospectus development and production, investor recruiting, and sourcing debt and equity financing for a wide range of project types in the U.S., Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Europe.
Solimar is also well versed in the trends shaping tourism-related investments. One of the most important trends—particularly in developing countries—is investment using a Triple Bottom Line approach, which seeks returns on investment that are financial, social, and environmental. A related trend shaping the market is social investing (or socially responsible investing), where the primary focus is on using investments to affect social change.
In the past three years Solimar has successfully secured more than $8 million in debt and equity commitments for ecolodges within or on the borders of national parks, and Solimar principals have combined successfully promoted tourism-related investment totaling more than $350 million.
What to Expect
Solimar and its industry partners have developed an end-to-end solution for development of small-scale lodging facilities that will be economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable and highly marketable. The core components include:
- Market-driven Project and Site Selection – We will only pursue projects we believe have significant market potential. Assessments are based on extensive market research.
- Tourism Branding and Tourism Marketing – graphic design services, social media, tour operator and press familiarization (FAM) trips
- Conceptualization Support – From initial market research through financial feasibility analysis, Solimar will assist with the development of reformulated and enhanced business plans and prospectus documents to make investing opportunities as competitive as possible
- High levels of Local Ownership – So that communities will have a significant stake in the outcome. We will seek to provide local communities and/or individuals with 20-30 percent of total project equity, based upon the value of the land provided (regardless of the source, i.e., could be provided through a government concession in a protected area), and sweat equity contributions.
- Social Investments – Clear articulation of the triple bottom line to attract social impact investors.
- Recruitment of Financing – Targeting investment promotion activities to create awareness and generate leads. Solimar will also plan and organize a familiarization tour for prospective investors to secure their commitment.