The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), in partnership with Globalia, is pleased to announce its first UNWTO Tourism Startup Competition — arguably the world’s largest initiative dedicated to identifying the startups that will lead the transformation of the tourism sector.

Tourism is one of the best-positioned sectors to drive inclusive growth, create jobs, reduce poverty, and foster sustainable development and peace. Accounting for 10% of the world GDP, tourism has a significant impact on exports, job creation, investment, development of infrastructure, and the promotion of social inclusion.

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UNWTO Affiliate Members

In the wake of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, UNWTO is looking for the most disruptive Startups that are transforming the way people travel and experience tourism.

10  finalists will be sponsored to pitch in front of potential investors, mentors and experts at the International Tourism Trade Fair which will be held from 24 to 27 January 2019 in Madrid, Spain.


  • Both for-profit and non-profit projects
  • Are in the Early Stage or Series A Stage
  • Are innovative in nature and provide value-added and sustainable solutions for the tourism sector
  • Have potential for scalability and a vision to grow internationally
  • Have a business plan


  • The winning startup will receive an opportunity to design a pilot project with Globalia, Spain’s largest travel corporation
  • The selected startups will receive a fully-sponsored trip to present their initiative to the jury, governments, industry leaders and international investors attending WTD
  • In addition, participants will benefit from a master class on how to talk to investors, ways of scaling up companies, etc.
  • Gain access to mentors, participate in acceleration programmes and discover unique funding opportunities

Criteria for participation

  • Potential impact: your solution must have a global mindset and scalability potential
  • Business model: strong financial returns and clear competitive advantage
  • Team profile: maturity of the business, alliance, and partners
  • Solution, uniqueness, and visibility: have a disruptive and innovative solution
  • Scalability and sustainability: must demonstrate scalability and sustainability to minimise environmental impact

How to apply

Early-stage startups looking to enter the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) incubation programme should apply through the website. Deadline for application is Monday, September 3, 2018.

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