CASE STUDY 15
Innovative financial incentives for tourism: linking cost of investment capital to conservation performance
Asilia is a fast growing nature travel business, currently operating 14 camps & lodges in Tanzania, Zanzibar and Kenya. The company generates annual revenues of c. US$ 23 million from 35,000 bed-nights at a 10% EBITDA margin, and has generated compounded annual revenue growth rates (GAGR) of more than 40% in the decade since its formation. Asilia has a 5-star GIIRS rating and was the first African safari company to be B-Corp registered. It engages at a number of levels within its operational landscapes – generating meaningful funds for conservation, creating local employment, partnering with local NGOs and engaging in local community and conservation development projects.
The Investment: Asilia is developing both the commercial bench strength and ‘corporate will’ to expand its operating model into new frontier conservation areas. This will bring revenues and employment to contexts where there is a significant need but where mainstream tourism operators are absent. From a commercial standpoint these areas have higher risk-profiles, but also have far greater product, conservation and social impact upside potential that will ultimately give the company competitive commercial advantage. It is around this dynamic that African Wildlife Capital has structured a US$ 2 million investment. Attached to this is a pioneering rebate mechanism that enables Asilia to reduce the effective cost of AWC capital by up to 2% based on the development of new conservation areas and/or the introduction of incremental tourism bed-nights (and the economic benefits these bring) into existing but under-utilised conservation landscapes