Banner - Belize tourism


Congratulations to the selected applicants!

Barbados – “Better Batteries”
Applicant:  Aceleron

Belize – “Belizing Tourism Innovation Lab”
Applicant:  Lets Go Belizing Ltd.

Costa Rica – “INTO Experiential Camps & Lodges”
Applicant:  INTO Hospitality S.A.

Dominican Republic – “Green Fins Hub - Digital scaling for sustainable marine tourism”
Applicants:  The Reef-World Foundation and Reef Check Dominican Republic

Guyana – “Safe Lodges Equal Safe Guests”
Applicants:  DAI Global LLC, Guyana Tourism Authority and Wilderness Explorers

Haiti – “Caribbean Tourism Career Accelerator”
Applicants:  Global Startup Foundation and Cocread

Panama – “Digital Transformation of Indigenous-Led Ecotourism and Conservation”
Applicants:  Keteka, Global Brigades and Native Future

Trinidad and Tobago – “Creating a community-driven, sustainable cluster and brand to transform ecotourism in Nariva Swamp”
Applicant:  Caribbean Natural Resources Institute

See press release for more information.

PLEASE NOTE:  the Beyond Tourism Challenge closed on July 31, 2020. 
The text below was posted in June 2020, when the Challenge launched. 


The COVID-19 crisis offers an opportunity for the tourism sector and its closely related supply chains to embrace digital transformation and boost innovation ecosystems in the public and private sectors. Innovation can fuel the sector to recalibrate and emerge from this crisis ready to grow again.


The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), through its innovation laboratory, IDB Lab, and in collaboration with the the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), seeks to identify business models that aim to transform and revitalize the tourism sector in 15 target countries: Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.

To be considered, these models must have the following four characteristics:

  1. Introduce innovations in at least two defined categories: 
    • workforce development, or
    • environmental sustainability (which includes safeguarding biodiversity, adopting waste management measures, circular economy models, and/or climate smart agricultural practices)
  2. Use innovative and disruptive technologies
  3. Demonstrate financial sustainability
  4. Contribute to the country’s economic, social, and environmental impact


  • How can tourism organizations, governments, and related actors in the industry support the design of programs to prepare the tourism workforce for the sector’s accelerated digital transformation?
  • How can tourism organizations, governments, and stakeholders currently working in the tourism supply chains work together to incorporate eco-friendly measures to preserve natural resources and biodiversity?
  • How can the stakeholders who are part of the tourism value chain work together to meet the growing demand for sustainable food systems, the shift in global consumption patterns, and tourist preferences?


IDB Lab Financing:  IDB Lab may consider the Applicants whose proposals are selected to receive non-reimbursable and/or reimbursable financing to implement the proposed tourism business model in one of the 15 target countries.

Participation in regional networking events: Applicants whose proposals are selected will also be included among IDB Lab's network of global innovators and may have opportunities to participate in networking events organized by the IDB Group and its partners.

For details see Guidelines.


Applicants from the 48 member countries of the IDB Group are invited to participate, including innovators and entrepreneurs with ready-to-implement solutions, destination marketing organizations, businesses, public innovation agencies, social enterprises, NGOs, and similar applicants with demonstrated expertise in the tourism sector.

Applicants not located and registered in the target country where the project will be implemented, will only be considered if applying in partnership with a local organization registered in said target country.


* Dates are approximate and subject to changes

  • Digital Launch

    June 15, 2020
  • Proposal Submission

    June 15 – July 31, 2020
  • Final Submission Deadline

    July 31, 2020 (midnight Eastern Time)
  • Review of Applications (pre-selection, due diligence, final selection)

    August 2020
  • Expected Announcement of Selected Proposals

    October 2020

Applicants can present their proposals and apply for a financing instrument that best fits their business model. These include non-reimbursable and/or reimbursable financing. 

Please note that Applicants should be able to contribute at least 50% in counterpart funds for project budget (IDB 50% + Partner 50% = 100% Total Project Cost).

The following documents must be uploaded: 

i) Written evidence of counterpart resources to implement the model (similar to a letter of interest or commitment).

ii) Registration (this must be a legal document establishing the Applicant as registered or authorized by the government to do business. Organizations with temporary authorizations/licenses to operate in the country where the project will be implemented will not be accepted):

  • Applicant registered in the target country where the project will be implemented:  copy of Applicant´s proof of legal constitution and incorporation under the laws of the target country where the project will be implemented.
  • Applicant is registered in one of the 48 IDB member countries other than the target country where the project will be implemented: copy of Applicant’s proof of legal constitution and incorporation under the laws of one of the IDB member countries, plus a copy of a collaboration/joint venture agreement with an Applicant registered in the target country where the project will be implemented.

iii) Copy of the Applicant’s bylaws and other documents on its corporate governance.

iv) For grants: copies of Applicant´s latest annual financial statements for the last 2-3 years (2017-2019), of which the last one has been prepared by an external auditing firm (for grants). 

For loans: copies of the Applicant’s latest annual financial statements for the last 2-3 years (2017-2019), prepared by an external auditing firm. Companies that do not have externally audited financial statements will not be eligible for loan financing.

Applications will be evaluated according to the criteria indicated below. Please read the guidelines for detailed information:

  • Level of innovation of the model/Use of disruptive technologies (20%).
  • Degree of social and environmental impact (15%). 
  • Excluded groups and communities (women, indigenous, disabled, etc.) or low-income populations (5%). 
  • Scalability potential (15%). 
  • Financial sustainability for the next 3-5 years (15%). 
  • Capacity of the Applicant and its strategic partners (15%). 
  • Viability of execution and risks (15%).

The process will have three phases. IDB Lab reserves the right to update, modify, cancel or suspend this process at any time, without any prior notice.

Phase I
After completing your application on the online platform, and uploading the required documents, an IDB Group technical team will review, analyze, and pre-select the proposals.  

Phase II
Due diligence visits or interviews with the pre-selected Applicants will be conducted to verify the viability of the model. Pre-selected applications will also be reviewed by an Advisory Panel. Subject to the outcome of the due diligence, the pre-selected proposals will proceed to Phase III.

Phase III
IDB Lab will select proposals according to the evaluation criteria described in Section 6 above. Selected proposals will be announced as per timeline established (see Section 9 below).  Once the best way to implement the model has been assessed, a project team from IDB Lab will provide support to the selected Applicant(s) to initiate the design of the project (which includes developing a project plan and other documents necessary to request official internal IDB approval). This process may last up to six months, depending on the maturity of the model and the implementing capacity of the selected Applicants.  

*Note that final approval is subject to internal IDB procedures with the understanding that for a project to be selected to receive IDB Lab funds, it must have been approved by all those directly involved in the IDB and IDB Lab approval process.  Likewise, a legal agreement must be signed which sets forth how IDB Lab financing and the counterpart resources will be used to implement the model.