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We propose a quantum heuristic algorithm to solve the traveling salesman problem by generalizing the Grover search. Sufficient conditions are derived to greatly enhance the probability of finding the tours with the cheapest costs reaching almost to unity. These conditions are characterized by the statistical properties of tour costs and are shown to be automatically satisfied in the large-number limit of cities. In particular for a continuous distribution of the tours along the cost, we show that the quantum heuristic algorithm exhibits a quadratic speedup compared to its classical heuristic algorithm.