The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), in association with Globalia, the leading tourism group in Spain and Latin America, has selected the finalists of the 2nd Global Tourism Startup Competition, an initiative that the two entities have been working on since 2018 when its first edition was held.
In the competition’s first two editions, Wakalua, the global tourism innovation hub powered by Globalia, in collaboration with the World Tourism Organization, has received proposals of nearly 5,000 startups from 150 countries. The countries with the highest number of projects submitted have been Spain, followed by India, the United States, Portugal, Nigeria and Colombia.
The second edition features startups in a more mature stage, with 10% having had more than EUR 500,000 in turnover in 2018. The finalists will present their projects at the Wakalua headquarters in Madrid. Seven will win awards in their respective categories.
Building on the success of the inaugural competition, this new edition continues to identify new companies that will lead the sector’s transformation. The aim and common denominator is to achieve a sustainable and profitable future through technology and innovation. This initiative is supported by partners such as Turismo de Portugal, Telefónica, Amadeus, Intu Costa del Sol, IE Africa Center and Distrito Digital Valencia, among others.
These partners will participate actively in the final decision and in the subsequent promotion, financing rounds and implementation of the pilot projects with the winners:
This annual competition is one of the flagship projects of Wakalua, the tourism innovation hub powered by Globalia in collaboration with the World Tourism Organization. Wakalua will host the winning startups for further development, providing support in order to establish links with leading companies in the sector. Innovation consulting firm Barrabés.biz is also a partner making this project possible.
Deep Tech, rethinking location and geolocation: With the backing of Amadeus, the aim in this category is to select the best startup that simplifies trips for customers or suppliers using location systems. Solutions that combine location data with artificial intelligence can be used to identify tourism regions, associate them with nearby airports, optimize, and offer opinion mining, among others.
Smart Mobility: In partnership with Telefónica, this category features projects that improve the quality of travel and that facilitate the mobility of users using any transport system. The objective is to reduce economic, environmental and time costs.
Smart Destinations: With the collaboration of Distrito Digital Valencia, solutions will be identified to improve the sustainability and profitability of destinations from the economic, environmental and socio-cultural perspectives by leveraging technology to help foster innovation and accessibility in an increasingly globalized world.
Disruptive Hospitality: Intu Costa del Sol will analyse companies that contribute to optimizing the total experience of travellers by combining the best solutions in the world of retail, shopping centres, food, leisure and hotels, so that, through personalized services and digital connectivity, every trip can be as efficient and effective as possible.
Rural Development: Globalia will place special emphasis on rural areas with the objective of transferring knowledge and innovation, and improving their viability and competitiveness. With the overall objective of promoting a shift towards an increasingly low-carbon economy, this category also seeks out companies devoted to risk management and animal welfare, as well as the restoration, preservation and improvement of ecosystems.
Innovative tourism solutions: Turismo de Portugal will present an award for the best innovation project outside the above categories.
Special award for sustainability: In addition, the UNWTO and Globalia will present a special sustainability award with the aim of giving more visibility to projects that are committed to more efficient and sustainable tourism.
Lastly, the IE Africa Center will recognize 2 projects in terms of social impact in Africa, awarding them with the Social Innovation Retreat scholarship, Sun Cycles Namibia and Enjoy Agriculture Senegal, presenting their initiatives. The winner of the Travel Tech 4 Good accelerator, in collaboration with the Tui Care Foundation and Enpact, Halla Travel, will also present its startup.
Finalists by category:
Snow and Mountain Tourism: The Links between Tourism, Sustainability and Innovation
The 11th edition of the World Congress on Snow and Mountain Tourism will take place on 11-13 March 2020 in Andorra, under the theme “Tourism, Innovation and Sustainability”. The Congress is organized by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Government of Andorra and the Parish of Canillo.
Within the framework of the Year of Tourism and Rural Development that the UNWTO is celebrating in 2020, the Congress will focus on the role of mountain tourism in rural development, mainly addressing the issues of innovation, sustainability and digital transformation.
UNWTO Executive Director Manuel Butler highlighted the timeliness of the theme of the 11th Congress: “Sustainability is essential for tourism to be compatible with the fragile environment of mountain areas, while providing benefits and opportunities to communities, which gives a key role to innovation to harmonize these objectives.”
For her part, Andorra’s Minister of Tourism, Verònica Canals, underlined: “The integration of new technologies and the contribution to sustainable development are two key aspects for the tourism sector. Therefore, this year, the Congress will try to share the perspectives of professionals regarding these challenges and will allow us to know the different models that companies and entities from around the world are creating.”
Development and sustainability
Through its high-level panels, keynote speeches and thematic sessions, the Congress will explore innovative solutions for sustainable tourism, sustainable consumption, local resources and products, inclusive tourism, and the development of responsible destinations.
The event will bring together a wide range of tourism professionals and experts from more than 10 countries (Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom, United States).
Presiding over the inauguration of the 11th World Congress on Snow and Mountain Tourism will be Xavier Espot Zamora, Head of Government of Andorra, Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the UNWTO, and Francesc Camp Torres, Mayor of Canillo.
The Congress was born as an initiative of the World Tourism Organization, the Government of Andorra and the seven parishes that make up Andorra. Held every two years and organized by the parishes on a rotating basis, the Congress has established itself as an enduring forum for discussion of the development and sustainability of tourism in mountain areas.
2nd Gastronomy Tourism Start-Up Competition
After the success of the first edition, the competition has returned to identify and celebrate disruptive ideas and innovators who will lead the transformation of the sector as well as those who are making a positive impact in their local communities.
In 2019, over 300 initiatives from 84 countries were submitted. Projects ranged from new technologies, community-based tourism development initiatives, innovation software and startups focused on innovation-driven agricultural sustainability. All of them help contribute to the advancement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
For this second edition and with the support of the TUI Care Foundation, there will be two prizes. The first category will identify the initiative that is both innovative and has a sustainable social impact. The winning project will receive expert support from Basque Culinary Center (the Culinary Action! initiative) and from UNWTO. The project will be showcased at the 6th UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy. As well as receiving help in creating a work plan for the design or implementation of a pilot project, the winner will also have access to the Culinary Action! network, which offers mentoring, monitoring and the opportunity to scale-up the project using the latest digital tools available.
The other category will recognize the most disruptive gastronomy tourism startup overall. The winning company will design a pilot project alongside Basque Culinary Center and implement it with the help of its network. It will also receive economic support to cover the expenses of the acceleration process with Culinary Action!, as well as accommodation and travel, for up to 3.000 euros.
UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “With this competition we are identifying key companies which will shape the future for food and travel. Gastronomy continues to prove its potential as a vital opportunity to enrich the tourism offer and stimulate economic development in destinations all around the world, especially in rural communities, with the potential to scale on a global level.”
Competition co-founder, Basque Culinary Center Director Joxe Mari Aizega added: “This competition allows us to identify and support entrepreneurial talent in gastronomy. There are entrepreneurs in different parts of the world who are promoting new initiatives that take advantage of the potential of gastronomy and tourism. Likewise, it allows us to provide training and to offer tools to help entrepreneurs to develop projects with the potential to transform and have a positive impact on both companies and destinations, promoting gastronomic tourism as a tool to guarantee the sustainability of the destination.”
The call for proposals for the and UNWTO and Basque Culinary Center’s Global Gastronomy Tourism Startup Competition has been launched worldwide and will close on 6 April. The finalists of the Startups category and the winners of the Social Innovation Category will be announced on 4 May 2020.
The Startups category winner winning startup will be announced between 1 and 3 June, during the 6th Edition World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism to be held in Flanders, Belgium.
Tourism and Cinema for the Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals
Year after year, destinations are receiving more and more travellers whose motivation is to visit locations where famous series or movies were filmed. Culture is an essential vector for tourism and cinema can serve as a mirror of the culture of a given community. It is against this backdrop that the Conference on Tourism and the Audiovisual Industry will be held (1-2 May 2020, Riviera Maya, Mexico).
What can tourism learn from the knowledge, proposals and contributions of the most important representatives of the audiovisual sector of Ibero-America? How can conclusions and recommendations be formulated in this field to promote sustainable development through tourism? The “Conference on Tourism and the Audiovisual Industry” will provide answers to these questions.
The event is will be carried out by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in collaboration with UNWTO Affiliate Members EGEDA (Entidad de Gestión de Derechos de los Productores Audiovisuales), the Tourism Promotion Council of Quintana Roo and the XCaret Group, and with the support of the Barceló Hotel & Resorts Group.
The Conference will be integrated into the extensive programme of events in the context of the 2020 Platino Awards Gala, which will be held under the theme “17 Awards – 17 Sustainable Development Goals” and will bring together prominent representatives from the entire Ibero-American audiovisual industry: producers, directors, actors, and professionals, among others.
The conference will focus on the different aspects of the relationship between tourism, the film/audiovisual industry and the promotion of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It will feature presentations and debates on cultural tourism, the beneficial impact of cinema on tourism promotion, strengthening the competitiveness of a destination and how to promote and incorporate the SDGs in movies.
Given the nature of this approach, which literally gives visibility to the SDGs through creative narratives, the Conference is very much in line with the recently initiated Decade of Action for the SDGs, which marks the countdown towards the achievement of the 2030 Agenda and the 17 Global Goals that derive from it.
The conference will be aimed
at public and private entities linked to the tourism and audiovisual sectors,
respectively (producers, directors, actors and other film professionals,
Destination Management Organizations (DMOs), National Tourism Administrations
(NTAs), Ministries of Tourism, and UNWTO Affiliate Members, among others).
The event will facilitate dialogue between tourism destinations and the most important companies producing films and series, public and private television networks, sales agents, distributors and exhibitors from more than 30 countries, with the common objective of promoting film tourism through the opening of a special market area to encourage the promotion and marketing of products and services related to the audiovisual, tourism and education sectors.
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