UNWTO has announced the winners of its Awake Tourism Challenge, celebrating the start-ups that are reshaping the sector in every global region.
The Challenge was the second edition of the UNWTO Global Startup Competition focusing on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Entrants were judged on how they are contributing to the development of an inclusive, resilient and sustainable tourism sector, with a focus on six core themes: •Local Community Involvement •Green and Blue Economies •Ecological and Sustainable Capital Creation •Tourism Tech for Good •Tourism Education •Women Empowerment
UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “Tourism startups have the power and agility to transform the sector in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.
“The winners of the UNWTO Awake Tourism Challenge all have the potential to help build a more inclusive and resilient sector and we look forward to supporting them as they grow in size and influence,” the UNWTO chief added.
The competition attracted more than 2,000 entrants from 120 countries worldwide.
Tourism startups have the power and agility to transform the sector in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.
The competition attracted more than 2,000 entrants from 120 countries worldwide. The most submissions were from Europe, the Americas and Africa, followed by Asia and the Pacific and the Middle East. From these, an expert jury selected 30 finalists and then 15 winners.
Reflecting the broad talent of the global tourism sector, the winning start-ups are Coastruction (the Netherlands), Noytrall (Portugal), SmArt Tourism and Hospitality Consulting (Panama), Quantum Temple (USA), Socialbnb (Germany), Instituto de Accesibilidad (Spain), Kamatjona (Namibia), Baahdy & Birdy (Norway), WeavAir (Singapore), r3charge (Germany), Impact Innovations Institute (Armenia), NomadHer (South Korea), Murmuration (France), Evelity by Okeenea Digital (France) and Accessible Qatar (Qatar).
The competition was organized in collaboration with Wakalua, the first global innovation hub for tourism, powered by Ávoris, and counted with great support from renowned tourism experts and partners.
In 2022, UNWTO celebrated five years of its Department of Innovation, Education, and investment. In that time, UNWTO has made innovation one of its main priorities for the sector, holding 23 competitions and challenges, as well as holding nine Tourism Tech Adventures, and creating an innovation network of more than 11,500 stakeholders drawn from every part of the diverse sector.
Meanwhile, all over the world businesses are rushing to rebuild their battered tourism industries in the post-pandemic era. International air traffic is picking up again.
Following the reopening of the countries around the world the businesses see labor shortages too.
In another report, the first meeting of the G20 Tourism Working Group held in the Rann of Kutch (February 7-9) under the Indian Presidency placed the focus on the sector’s role in advancing the 2030 Agenda.
UNWTO is working as the knowledge partner to the Presidency to deliver the Goa Roadmap for Tourism as a Vehicle for Achieving the SDGs. UNWTO shared its recently launched Tourism for Rural Development Programme, including the Best Tourism Villages Initiative.
Representatives from Indonesia, Spain, Italy and Japan joined UNWTO, the UN Environmental Program, the International Labor Organization and the South Asia Women’s Network (SWAN) in discussing how tourism policy can support tourism’s contribution to rural development.