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©Alex Vasey/ Unsplash
  • Tourism Minister Daniela Santanchè said: “This initiative will boost growth and strengthen the competitiveness of tourism businesses in terms of environmental sustainability, innovation and digitalisation, and is further evidence of the government's commitment to reviving a sector so vital to the Italian economy”.
  • The €500 million PNRR Thematic Fund, included in the “Recovery and Resilience Italy” Fund of Funds and managed by the EIB, is intended to support the tourism sector in Italy.
  • The Thematic Fund will operate through the financial intermediaries Equiter (with the Intesa Sanpaolo Group), Banca Finint (in cooperationwith Finint Investments SGR and Sinloc S.p.A.), and a third financial intermediary to be added at a later stage.
  • The resources of the Thematic Fund for Tourism will help support investments for the construction, restructuring and modernisation of tourism facilities and infrastructure and actions related to the green transition and the digital transition in the tourism sector, such as digitalisation projects and actions intended to promote sustainable tourism-related mobility.

Following the signing of a financing agreement with the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) for the creation of a Fund of Funds under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) to support sustainable tourism and urban regeneration, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Ministry of Tourism have launched the €500 million Thematic Fund for Tourism.

The EIB will channel these funds to businesses through the financial intermediaries Equiter (in cooperation with the Intesa Sanpaolo Group), Banca Finint (in cooperation with Finint Investments SGR and Sinloc S.p.A.), and to a third financial intermediary to be selected at a later stage following a public call for expressions of interest.

Equiter, with the Intesa Sanpaolo Group, will manage resources of up to €200 million, while Banca Finint will manage up to €175 million. Additional resources will be allocated to a third financial intermediary in the near future.

As a component of Investment 4.2 (Integrated funds to ensure the competitiveness of tourism businesses) of provision M1C3.4 of the PNRR (Tourism 4.0), the Thematic Fund for Tourism aims to promote and encourage tourism based on environmental sustainability, innovation and digitalisation of services, while increasing the competitiveness of businesses, in line with the objectives of the PNRR.

More specifically, investments made through the Thematic Fund for Tourism can include the construction, restructuring and modernisation of facilities and infrastructure, with a view to promoting sustainability and the green transition in the tourism sector, for example by means of investments in digitalisation projects and/or processes and actions intended to promote sustainable mobility in relation to tourism.

Furthermore, the Fund can help with businesses' working capital requirements and investment costs. The resources will be distributed by financial intermediaries in the form of loans, equity and/or quasi-equity products, following due diligence and project evaluation.

According to Daniela Santanchè, Minister for Tourism: “The fund will finance investments in environmental sustainability, innovation and digitalisation, providing support that will stimulate growth and strengthen the competitiveness of businesses in the Italian tourism sector. It is also further proof of how committed the government is to reviving a sector so vital to our economy”.

Thanks to the Thematic Fund for Tourism, the EIB, as the EU climate bank, will support businesses and services that aim, among other things, to promote the green transition in the tourism sector with €500 million under the PNRR”, said Gelsomina Vigliotti, EIB Vice-President. “Promoting the development of sustainable tourism is key to ensuring respect for the environment, biodiversity and natural resources, and to help combat climate change. In 2022, more than half of the EIB Group's financing in Italy, amounting to €5.52 billion, was dedicated to supporting environmental sustainability”.

“With more than a decade of experience in managing third-party funds, we are pleased to be able to contribute to this important initiative promoted by the Ministry of Tourism and the EIB,” stated Carla Patrizia FerrariCEO of Equiter.Tourism is a strategic sector for the country, and the new Fund provides an excellent opportunity to help it to recover from the effects of the pandemic using investments consistent with the environmental, digital and social transitions provided for in the PNRR and the European Green Deal”.

Fabio Innocenzi, CEO of the Banca Finint Group, said: “We are honoured that our Group is participating in such a wide-ranging project aimed at boosting Italian tourism businesses and promoting their eco-sustainability and digitalisation in the context of the PNRR. Banca Finint and Finint Investments SGR, together with Sinloc S.p.A., will manage the project using their extensive experience of working with Italian companies dedicated to local growth and development”.

Background information

The European Investment Bank (EIB) finances projects in four priority areas: infrastructure, innovation, climate and environment, and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Between 2019 and 2022, the EIB Group lent more than €45 billion for projects in Italy.

Equiter S.p.A. is an investor and financial advisor in the infrastructure and innovation sector. In particular, the company selects, makes and manages direct and indirect investments in risk capital with the aim of promoting local socioeconomic development and sustainable long-term growth, using impact finance. Equiter is a professional manager and long-term investor with a significant track record in making greenfield investments. Equiter S.p.A. has a unique shareholding group: three of Italy's largest banking foundations (Compagnia di San Paolo, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Torino and Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Cuneo) combined with the stabilising presence of the Intesa Sanpaolo group.

The Banca Finint Group operates in the Italian corporate and investment banking, structured finance, wealth management and asset management markets. Established in late 2014, Banca Finint is the culmination of more than 40 years of operation of the Finanziaria Internazionale Group, which was founded in 1980 by Enrico Marchi. The Banca Finint Group was established in 2016, with Banca Finint acting as parent company. Banca Finint specialises in activities mainly related to debt capital markets (minibonds and specialised lending) and the structuring and management of securitisation, covered bond and structured finance operations, providing consultancy for extraordinary finance transactions and carrying out basket bond transactions, supporting businesses and the real economy where it operates. The banking group includes Finint Investments SGR, an asset management company active in the management of securities and real estate funds using different strategies to suit the requirements of its domestic and international investors; Finint Private Bank, which provides private clients and families with advanced consultancy services and an open platform for investments; and Finint Revalue, a company specialising in credit asset management. The Group is headquartered in Conegliano (Veneto Region) and has offices in Milan, Rome and Trento, as well as over 550 employees, 190 financial advisors in 62 local offices and €10 billion in assets under management.

Sinloc – Sistema Iniziative Locali – S.p.A. is dedicated to supporting local development. It provides investment and consultancy services in Italy and Europe and promotes development primarily via infrastructure projects, with feasibility studies, technical assistance and investment in public-private partnership projects. It helps local institutions and companies with project design and the effective use of national and European financial resources. The shareholder group includes 11 banking foundations.