MADRID — The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), with the support of the World Health Organization (WHO), is calling on innovators and entrepreneurs to put forward new solutions to help the tourism sector recover from COVID-19.

The Healing Solutions for Tourism Challenge is intended to further advance the united response of the wider United Nations system to COVID-19. This global call asks entrepreneurs and innovators to submit ideas that can help the tourism sector mitigate the impact of the pandemic and kickstart recovery efforts. In particular, the challenge is aimed at finding ideas that can make a difference right away — for destinations, for businesses and for public health efforts.

Participants should be able to demonstrate how their ideas can help tourism in its response to COVID-19. Ideas must also have been piloted and be ready to scale-up, with a business plan in place and the potential to be implemented in several countries.

“Tourism is the sector that’s been hit hardest by COVID-19. Our response needs to be strong and united. We also need to embrace innovation,” says Zurab Pololikashvili, secretary-general, UNWTO. “I call on all entrepreneurs and innovators with ideas that are developed and ready to be put into action to share them with us. In particular, we want to hear ideas that will help communities recover from this crisis, economically and socially, as well as ideas that can contribute to the public-health response.”

The competition is now live and applications close on April 10, 2020. The winners of the Healing Solutions for Tourism Challenge will be invited to pitch their ideas to representatives of more than 150 governments. They will also enjoy access to the UNWTO Innovation Network, which includes hundreds of start-ups and leading businesses from across the tourism sector. More information is available at


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