The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) on Wednesday announced the winners of its SDGs Global Startup Competition that were recognized for their unique contributions to sustainable and responsible tourism.
The competition, which was supported by the United Nations Innovation Network, attracted some 10,000 initial proposals. From these, the jury chose 25 winners from 18 countries, highlighting the array of tourism talent in every global region and its widespread ability to contribute to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Shortlisted finalists were judged according to criteria which included the potential of the startups to contribute to a specific Goal, their ability to be scaled-up and the maturity of both the product and the team behind it.
The 25 winning startups, selected by a jury made up of leaders from across the tourism sector, offer distinct solutions for advancing the SDGs. The Americas led the way in submitting winning proposals, with nine of the competition winners coming from the region.
Europe provided eight winners, Asia and the Pacific six, and Africa and the Middle East one winner each.
“The winners show the power of new ideas for transforming our sector. By embracing innovation, we can realise this potential and build a better future for people and planet through tourism,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili.
The winning startups will now be given expert support and backing to develop further, including guided mentorship programs from Amadeus, Google, IE University and FarCo, and tailored mentorship sessions from Mastercard and ClarkeModet.
The winners will also be invited to take part in a pitching event, to be hosted by Wakalua within the framework of Spain’s International Tourism Fair (FITUR).
The winners of the UNWTO SDGs Global Startup Competition are the following:
- SDG1 – No poverty
- SDG2 – Zero hunger
Ifarm Agritech (Kenya)
- SDG3 – Good health and well-being
- SDG4 – Quality education
Immersion India (India)
- SDG5 – Gender equality
- SDG6 – Clean water and sanitation
ECOLOO Greentech Malaysia SDN BHD (Malaysia)
Zero Mass Water (United States of America)
- SDG7 – Affordable and clean energy
Enexor BioEnergy (United States of America)
- SDG8 – Good jobs and economic growth
Clio Muse Tours PC (Greece)
Community Homestay Network (Nepal)
- SDG9 – Industry, innovation and infrastructure
DefinedCrowd (United States of America)
FREED GROUP (aka TravelFlan) (Hong Kong)
- SDG10 – Reduced inequalities
Travaxy – accessible travel (Israel)
- SDG11 – Sustainable cities and communities
- SDG12 – Sustainable consumption and production
- SDG13 – Climate action
Opus 12, Inc. (United States of America)
Safety Line (France)
- SDG14 – Life below water
Seven Clean Seas (Singapore)
- SDG16 – Peace, justice and string institutions
Impulse Travel (Colombia)
- SDG17 – Partnerships for the goals