The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has announced the launch of a new competition for startups with a view to discovering innovators with the potential to boost the contribution of tourism to sustainable development.
The UNWTO, as the United Nations specialized agency for tourism, has been guiding the industry’s efforts to contribute to the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDAs), including through its Tourism for SDAs online platform. Now, as the global community faces 10 years to achieve this ambitious agenda for people and the planet, tourism’s unique ability to advance the ODS is more important than ever.
This competition will bring all sectors together in efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and place innovation and sustainability at the heart of the global economic recovery
In the context of the High-Level Policy Forum on Sustainable Development held under the auspices of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the UNWTO has launched the Global Start-Up Competition for the ODS.
Organized in association with Wakalua, the innovation node of the leading tourism group Globalia, the competition has strong support from the private sector, with Amadeus, Amazon Web Services Activate, BBVA, ClarkeModet, The Far Co, Globant, Google, IE University, Mastercard, Mentor Day, Plug and Play and Telefónica as the main promoters of innovation.
The competition is not only open to innovators in the tourism sector. Start-ups of all kinds, and from all over the world, are invited to participate provided they meet the following criteria:
- Be innovative in nature and provide value-added solutions
- Having sustainability as an engine
- Be scalable: have potential for international growth and potential to be applied in companies and destinations (countries, regions)
- Be in the initial phase or in series A
- Have a proven pilot project and a business plan
- Having participated in an acceleration program before
- Having a full-time team
The 17 most disruptive startups (1 for each ODS) will be supported to scale up their project and have a significant impact on the future of tourism destinations. UNWTO will present the best ideas to its Member States and investors, providing a unique opportunity for networking and partnerships.
Other benefits include the opportunity to present your idea at a special UNWTO Demonstration Day and access to technology support and the UNWTO Innovation Network, as well as a special mentoring programme with individual or group training sessions on key topics such as intellectual property, sustainability in business and leadership.
The deadline for applications is 20 September 2020. The winning startups will be announced in November. For more information and to register, visit the UNWTO Global Startup Competition for ODS website.