The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is supporting five countries of the Southern Cone (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay), in a strategy of regional integration based on the development of productive corridors, among which is the Jesuit tourist corridor, a legacy shared by the five countries that developed between 1569-1773 and is still alive today. This corridor has 55 Jesuit heritage sites, 19 of them declared World Heritage by UNESCO.
The tourism authorities of the five countries, together with the IDB Group and the support of the World Tourism Organization, seek to identify new business solutions capable of accelerating the integration of the tourist offer of the Way of the Jesuits of South America (CJ).
This Smart Challenge is a commitment to creativity and business innovation, as instruments to accelerate an integrated tourism development of the Jesuit legacy. We are looking for new business solutions that help to overcome one or more of the following integration challenges:
- Type of logistics/administrative: such as border crossing, currency diversity, or different administrative requirements for providing tourism services in each country;
- Design of the tourism offer: In which it is necessary to expand the account and diversify the offer, ensuring the complementarity of the narratives and tourism experiences from the different countries;
- Marketing, There will be a heterogeneity of sub-national brands and a still uneven and limited tourism positioning;
- Management, due to the absence of updated market information and technical skills deficits;
- The appropriate level of public-private investment beyond the best known tourist icons;
- Intersectoral and business coordination, to prioritize destinations, circuits, messages at regional level;
- Of need for recovery from the crisis under new paradigms: the COVID-19 outbreak has delayed investment and growth plans by tourism companies in light of the restrictions on mobility and the general decline of tourist arrivals, so it is important to present inclusive solutions that accelerate the recovery of tourism activity, considering the new determinants of demand (such as health security).
Who can apply?
Companies from any sector of activity, in the growth phase, may participate legally in at least one of the five member countries of the CJ. (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay), with an innovative proposal to accelerate the integration of the CJ’s tourism offer. They may be natural or legal persons in accordance with the legislation of their respective countries.
In addition, such companies are encouraged to present themselves with partners from any of the 48 IDB member countries in the event of requiring the strengthening of the team or the value proposition of the business solution. In this case, the company located in one of the five member countries of the CJ will have to lead the proposal.
At least 5 winning proposals will be entered into a 12-week-long, 4-stage Business Acceleration Program (PAE) divided into 4 stages, which will provide specialized technical/legal/commercial advice and personalized mentalities; give access to potential clients (B2B), investment opportunities and networks of regional and international collaborators; and will foster the development of the necessary business ecosystem to make the proposal viable.
To be eligible, the proposed business solutions must have the following characteristics:
- to accelerate the tourism integration of the CJ, proposing business innovations for the challenges mentioned above or others that can be demonstrated in the presented proposal. The geographic integration capacity of the proposals will be assessed, and not able to present business solutions with a purely national vision (i.e. they must include at least two CJ countries).
- Level of innovation, be it with new narratives and tourism products, with proposals for technological adoption or through new business processes. An example of innovation in the design of the offer would be to create new narratives and tourist experiences, such as missionary gastronomy in the different CJ countries, each experience with its own entity but complementary with the rest of the countries. An example of innovation in the adoption of new technologies would be the use of augmented or virtual reality for the setting up of Jesuit resources. An example of innovation to address the logistical challenge of using different currencies would be the adoption of tokens among CJ companies. Projects should demonstrate the level of innovation provided with their business solutions.
- Level of sustainability measured in terms of specific actions and/or resources allocated to this area in the business project, especially caring for environmental sustainability but also social inclusion and tourism links with the local vulnerable CJ communities. Some examples of environmental sustainability would be the reduction of the use of non-renewable resources, the boost to responsible tourism consumption, recycling, the strengthening of exchange between tourism information and environmental science, among other possibilities. In terms of social inclusion, some examples would be the professional training of vulnerable groups in CJ destinations, the inclusion of people with disabilities in the tourism system, etc.
- Potential for scaling and level of replicability at different points of the Jesuit Way.
- Technical Solvency and diversity of profiles of the professional team assigned to the proposed project.