Healing Solutions for Tourism Challenge

Healing Solutions for Tourism Challenge


UNWTO received over 1,000 applications from over 100 countries for the Healing Solutions for Tourism Challenge, launched to identify the most disruptive startups, entrepreneurs and drive solutions to mitigate COVID-19’s impact on tourism. The selected shortlisted semi- finalists announced below:

Finalists Healing for people:

Finalists Healing for prosperity:

Finalists Healing for destinations:


Regional Runner-ups:

Semi - Finalists Healing for People:

Healing for Prosperity - Semifinalists:

Semi - Finalists Healing for Destinations:


Following the success of the competition and continuous developments in new solutions, UNWTO has now opened a space to share startups and companies working for restarting tourism.

See our first newsletter:

"I am deeply convinced that there is no other way to deal with global challenges, than with global responses."

António Guterres, UN Secretary-General


This challenge is a global call to reach the most disruptive startups, entrepreneurs and drive solutions to mitigate Covid-19 impacts on tourism through health, economic and destination management solutions. A step forward for Sustainable Development in a crisis situation.

Facts and figures

Tourism, 10 years of continuous growth 2010-2019

The most resilient economic sector

International Tourist Arrivals (1995-2019)

1.5 one billion arrivals reached in 2019
UNWTO (2020)

4% of growth in 2019
UNWTO (2020)

1 in 10 jobs worldwide are in tourism
UNWTO (2019)

7% of global exports
UNWTO (2019)


The most human and democratic sector is under threat as well as people's economic means. Only a joint effort is able to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.


Sustainable Development in a crisis situation

A global call to reach the most disruptive startups, entrepreneurs, innovators and existing technologies to mitigate Covid-19 impacts on tourism through health, economic and destination recovery solutions.

A step forward for Sustainable Development in a crisis situation, providing support to travelers, businesses and authorities.



An initiative to directly contribute to the Sustainable Develelopment Goals



Target audience

Startups, entrepreneurs and innovators from all over the world with ready-to-implement solutions to drive the Covid-19 impacts in tourism. Methods, processes, governance structures, social impact initiatives, new technological applications, existing technologies, among other ways of innovation are applicable.

Participants should meet the following criteria:

  • Being innovative in nature and provide value-added solutions

  • To have a tested pilot and business plan

  • To have been accelerated before

  • To have potential to be applied in many countries


Healing for People


Solutions focused on safety measures, sanitizing methods, early detection, among others for tourism and travel-related stakeholders - to be used by: tourists, tourism employees, hospitality operations, travel agencies, tour-operators, transportation, amusement parks, etc.

Healing for Prosperity


Solutions focused on digital applications for tourism, sharing economy, circular economy, revenue management, demand recovery, investments, among other areas, to be implemented for the whole sector near and long-term future.

Healing for Destinations


Solutions focused on recovery techniques for destinations: crisis communication, crisis management, mobility, tourism destinations re-branding, travel confidence recovery, among other related areas.

Selection process

From all over the world

3 Categories
For tourism challenges

Top solutions
To start delivering

Selection process

Screening applications

Experts Committee Assessment

Top startups release

Benefits for selected finalists

The most viable and ready-to-implement solutions will be awarded as follows:

Digital booklet: To reach 150+ ministers and forward information from the best providers for tourism recovery.

Business presentation: To the world governments with the UNWTO Secretary-General from the IE University Wow Room, the most innovative space to share the solutions.

Connection with the UNWTO Innovation Network: Access to more than 5000 tourism-related startups, 930 corporations, 300 public institutions, 50 education institutions, 30 incubators and 200 investors.


Support Member States and tourism stakeholders in identifying and mitigating global and local risks related to tourism: mitigations strategies, actions and instruments to evaluate risks of global and local importance.

Strengthen the coordination of all tourism stakeholders along the tourism value chain.

Measures to facilitate international travel, by ensuring the safe and efficient movement of travelers:including an exchange of information, development of standards and procedures meant to deter threats, reduce costs and safeguard the movement of travelers.

Promote technology acquisition and facilitate investment.


  • Launch

    25 March 2020

  • Deadline for candidatures

    22 April 2020

  • Announcement of top startups

    30 April 2020

  • Selection of finalists to be awarded benefits

    4 May 2020

  • Digital presentation by finalists to Member States

    7 May 2020


Terms and Conditions - COVID19 Solutions 

"The worldwide Coronavirus pandemic is a challenge we must face together... our response must be calm, consistent and collective. Tourism will once be there to help people and communities recover from this setback."

Zurab Pololikashvili, UNWTO Secretary-General

Tech partner:

IE University