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UNWTO Announces 10 Finalists for 1st Tourism Startup Competition

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has announced the 10 finalists of its 1st Tourism Startup Competition, who will present their projects during the Fitur International Tourism Fair during January 23-27, in Madrid, Spain.

The Tourism Startup Competition is a pioneering initiative that has identified emerging companies at the forefront of the transformation of the tourism sector and the promotion of innovation ecosystems through tourism.

UNWTO logoSelected among 3,000 projects from 132 countries, the 10 finalists are Awake (Colombia), By Hours (Spain), e-bot (Germany), The FreeBird Club (Ireland), Howazit (Israel), Kompas (UK), Pruvo (Israel), Refundit (Israel), Seevoov (Israel) and Stay 22 (Canada).

The competition sought innovative startups capable of transforming the way people travel and experience tourism, while adhering closely to the principles of sustainability (economic, social, and environmental).

“For the first time, we have positioned tourism in the global innovation agenda, a well-deserved place that reflects the weight and socio-economic impact of tourism,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili.

Each project’s uniqueness, viability, potential impact, business model and scalability, along with the profile of the team, were the criteria for selecting the 10 nominees.

All this is combined with the application of technology to revolutionize business models and the management of companies in the sector.

UNWTO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili.

UNWTO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili

“The key is to connect the public and private sectors collaboratively, thus creating opportunities to share ideas and projects,” Pololikashvili added.

The 10 companies will present their projects at the Fitur Fair, in the presence of global tourism leaders from the public and private sectors, as well as potential investors.

The winner will have the opportunity to carry out a pilot project with the Globalia Group, a leading tourism group in Spain and Latin America, and co-organizer of the competition.

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