The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing Austria’s tourist industry with a EUR 110 million loan in a further pledge of its support for small businesses in the sector. This new credit line will take the form of an “EIB loan for SMEs” to Österreichische Hotel- und Tourismusbank Ges.m.b.H. (ÖHT) in a continuation of the EU bank’s 15-year cooperation with ÖHT.

The tourist industry is of key importance to Austria. The sector has been relatively untouched by the recent global economic crisis, and small businesses in particular have even strengthened their competitiveness and stepped up their investment. In order to relieve the persistent difficulty obtaining long-term finance, however, the EIB has decided to continue its support for Austria’s hotel and tourist industry with long-term low-interest loans.

ÖHT is a specialist bank financing and promoting investment in tourism. It funds on average 100 to 150 projects a year and has proved to be dependable EIB partner. This EIB loan will serve to finance the Austrian Economy, Family and Youth Ministry’s tourism promotion programme on favourable terms.

EIB Vice-President Matthias Kollatz-Ahnen stressed ÖHT’s key role in financing Austria’s tourism sector: “ÖHT now possesses unique sectoral know-how. It provides 10% of all loans to Austria’s tourist industry, which considering its size is an impressive achievement. The importance of the industry to Austria’s economy and the high proportion of small businesses in the sector were decisive factors in the EIB’s financing decision.”

Background information:

The European Investment Bank is the EU’s long-term financing institution. Its task is to foster the EU’s objectives by providing long-term loans for viable projects.