UNWTO Tourism Startup Competition for Entrepreneurs: Apply Now!

UNWTO Tourism Startup Competition

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), in partnership with Globalia, is pleased to announce the 1st UNWTO Tourism Startup Competition, the world’s largest initiative dedicated to identifying the startups that will lead the transformation of the tourism sector!

Tourism is one of the best positioned sectors to drive inclusive growth, create jobs, reduce poverty, and foster sustainable development and peace. Accounting for 10% of the world GDP, tourism has a significant impact on exports, job creation, investment, development of infrastructure, and the promotion of social inclusion.

Read Also Africa Innovates for the SDGs: Apply Now to Participate

Moreover, given its cross-sectorial nature, tourism’s wide reach also stimulates entrepreneurship and growth of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), which along with start-ups, are an important driver of innovation and job creation. Furthermore, tourism engages all sectors to collaborate and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.

In the wake of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we are looking for the most disruptive Startups that are transforming the way people travel and experience tourism.
Compete for the opportunity to network and pitch your disruptive solution to a jury of global tourism leaders, including top global investors and corporations, at high-level tourism events.

Read Also VC4A Venture Showcase 2018: Apply Now to Secure $250k-$5m in Business Funding


UNWTO Tourism Startup Competition Award Process

Pitch & Connect
The 20 runners-up will have the opportunity to pitch at the official celebrations of World Tourism Day (WTD), on September 27th 2018 in Budapest, Hungary.

The selected startups will receive a fully-sponsored trip to present their initiative to the jury, governments, industry leaders and international investors attending WTD.

In addition, participants will benefit from a master class on how to talk to investors, ways for scaling up companies, etc.

Pitch & Connect II
The 10 finalists will have sponsored participation at FITUR, the International Tourism Trade Fair, from 24 – 27 January 2019 in Madrid, Spain.

Be of one of 10 startups selected to pitch in front of potential investors, mentors and experts during FITUR 2019, the first of the world’s largest gatherings of tourism leaders. Receive a fully-sponsored trip and access to the four days of networking, mentoring and events. Connect to a network of over 200,000 participants from hundreds of countries.

Read Also Youths for Africa and SDGs Program for Entrepreneurs: Apply Now!

The winning startup will receive the opportunity to design a pilot project with Globalia, Spain’s largest travel corporation. Work closely with Globalia’s brands including Air Europa (airline), Halcón Viajes (travel agencies), Travelplan (tour operator), Be Live (hotel chain), and Groundforce (airport handling) and more.

Scale your startup by participating in the first-ever Global Tourism Innovation Hub. Gain access to mentors, participate in acceleration programmes, and discover unique funding opportunities.

Runnersup and Finalists will also benefit from

  • Extensive Networking Opportunities
  • Worldwide Visibility
  • Participation in UNWTO Events

Evaluation Criteria

Your startup will be evaluated on the following criteria

  • Potential Impact
  • Business Model
  • Team Profile
  • Solution Uniqueness and Feasibility
  • Scalability and Sustainability

Who Can Apply?

We are targeting Startups that:

  • Both for-profit and non-profit projects
  • Are in the Early Stage or Series A Stage
  • Are innovative in nature and provide value-added and sustainable solutions for the tourism sector
  • Have potential for scalability and a vision to grow internationally
  • Have a business plan

Read Also African Green Revolution Forum 2018: Apply Now for $5m in Startup Funding 

UNWTO Tourism Startup Competition Focus Areas

Your project should focus on one of the following:

Future of Travel

Startups that are innovating the way we think about travel, promote travel and how we travel

Experience of Tourism

Startups that are developing innovative thematic tourism experiences, such as:

– Sports Tourism
– Gastronomy Tourism
– Adventure tourism

Environmental Impact

Startups that are reducing the negative impact that tourism has on the environment through innovations in technologies and processes

Read Also Cashless Lagos Hackathon: Apply Now for up to N2 million Business Grant


Startups that are developing innovative tourism solutions that empower the local community through local economic growth, rural development and socio-cultural inclusivity

How to Participate in the UNWTO Tourism Startup Competition

Interested in being part of the UNWTO Tourism Startup Competition, please visit the application portal now to apply.

Also visit the UNWTO Tourism Startup Competition website to learn more

Good luck as you apply!

Share this post with your friends and networks so they too can apply.

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )
Join over 30.000 visitors who are receiving the latest news on business grants, loans and entrepreneurship development opportunities.
We hate spam as much as you do. You can be sure your email address will not be shared with anyone else.

Leave a Reply