UNWTO ‘Awake Tourism Challenge’ winners announced
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) announced the winners of the ‘Awake Tourism Challenge’.
It recognised start-up businesses reshaping the sector in every global region.
They will now be incubated at Les Roches Global Hospitality Education.
In the second edition of the start-up competition focusing on the Sustainable Development Goals, entrants were judged on how they are contributing.
There was a focus on six core themes: Local community involvement; green and blue economies; ecological and sustainable capital creation; tourism tech for good; tourism education; and women empowerment.
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 Middle East.
From these, an expert panel selected 30 finalists and then 15 winners.
The winning start-ups are Coastruction (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 projects were recognised for innovative service with high customer value, and high levels of youth and local community engagement.
They were also assessed on their use of technology to monitor the environmental impact of tourism activity.
“Tourism start-ups have the power and agility to transform the sector in line with the Sustainable Development Goals,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili.
“The winners all have the potential to help build a more inclusive and resilient sector.”
The winning start-ups will be offered an incubation period of three months at SPARK Crans-Montana, the Innovation Hub of Les Roches
They participate in mentorships, networking activities and have access to a VR Lab, Digital Studio, and a dedicated co-working space.
In addition, they will also receive scholarships for the UNWTO Tourism Online Academy.
They will be included in the UNWTO catalogue of top innovators, be featured in a global communications campaign, and be invited for mentorships.