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UNWTO Tourism Startup Competition 2020

Fully Funded UNWTO Tourism Startup Competition 2020 in Spain

Fully Funded
Country: Spain
City: Madrid
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For the second straight year, the World Tourism Organization or UNWTO is running the world’s largest startup competition in tourism boosted by Wakalua, the global tourism innovation hub.

Together with the corporate partners, UNWTO wants you to tackle the core concepts of travel shaping the future of the sector. Beat your competition with the most disruptive, innovative and sustainable solution and become the next game-changer in tourism.

Entrepreneurs can compete in the following track:

  • Deep Tech: Location & Geolocation Data
  • Smart Mobility
  • Rural Development
  • Disruptive Hospitality
  • Smart Destinations

Benefits of the UNWTO Tourism Startup Competition

UNWTO Tourism Startup Competition offers several benefits to the participants. The participants can Pitch their ideas and secure investment for their startup. Also, the participants can develop and expand their global network. Furthermore, UNWTO Startup Competition offers:

Pitch & Connect: Be one of the top 3 challenge finalists to pitch in front of investors, mentors, leading corporates and international tourism stakeholders during the Grand Finals – one per corporate challenge – in Madrid, Spain, on 21 January 2020. Moreover, UNWTO will cover the expenses of the finalist traveling to Spain.

Network: Gain a fully sponsored trip and free access to exclusive networking opportunities with tourism leaders and global tourism stakeholders during the Madrid International Tourism Trade Fair 22-26 January 2020 (FITUR).

Pilot & Mentorship: As a winner, you will have the opportunity to design a pilot project with the corporate leading your challenge as well as receive world-class mentorship.

Pilot & Scale-up: Win the special award on Sustainability and also run a pilot with Globalia, leading tourism corporation in Spain and Latin America, including a 6-week scale-up program at the Wakalua hub in Madrid, Spain.

Eligibility for the UNWTO Tourism Startup Competition

In order to be eligible for the Tourism Startup Competition, the startup must meet the UNWTO’s criteria which states:

  • Both for-profit and non-profit projects
  • Likewise, the startup must be in the Early Stage or Series A Stage
  • Further, the startup is innovative in nature and provide value-added and sustainable solutions for the tourism sector
  • Have potential for scalability as well as a vision to grow internationally
  • Also, the startup should have a business plan


The Judging panel at UNWTO will evaluate Tourism Startup projects according to five criteria:

  • The value proposition of the solution: Is the proposed solution unique, effective, as well as feasible?
  • Impact on business: Will the solution substantially impact the focus area of choice?
  • Capacity for collaboration with the startup: Feasibility of collaboration / agile implementation in the short-medium term
  • Resources and team: How good is the team, in relation to the plan ahead?
  • Level of sustainability: How is the environmental, economic as well as social impact produced by the business activity?

How to apply for the UNWTO Tourism Startup Competition

To participate in the UNWTO Tourism Startup Competition, the candidates will require to complete and submit the online application. Along with the application, the candidates must describe about their startup as well as complete the application before the deadline.


UNWTO accepts the application for the Tourism Startup Competition until the deadline 15th November 2019. Applications arriving after the deadline are ineligible for the competition.


Type of Opportunity Competitions and Awards Entrepreneurship Events
Deadline15 November,2019
Open toAll Nationalities
OrganizerWorld Tourism Organization
Contact the organizer[email protected]



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