The World Tourism Organisation (WTO), a United Nations agency, has launched a global challenge, seeking start-ups with innovative solutions that can help the recovery of the tourism sector in a disruptive way.
The competition, Awake Tourism Challenge, is inviting start-ups across the globe to put forward ideas for meeting the biggest challenges the tourism sector is facing.
According to the WTO, the challenges include ecological and sustainable capital creation, tourism education, women empowerment, as well as advancing the use of digital technologies to grow the sector.
“Advancements in technology have revolutionised the sector, especially since the start of the pandemic. Artificial intelligence, crypto, blockchain, metaverse and NFTs [non-fungible tokens] are welcome in this category,” says the agency.
The WTO says the 12 most disruptive start-ups will be given support to scale-up and the agency will present the best ideas to its member states, affiliate members and investors.
Additional benefits, it says, include the chance to pitch at a special WTO Demo Day and access to technological support and to the WTO innovation network, as well as a curated mentorship programme with both one-on-one and group training sessions.
WTO secretary-general Zurab Pololikashvili comments: “The return of tourism is a chance to awaken its potential to transform lives. UN WTO is calling on start-ups everywhere to put forward their ideas for meeting the biggest challenges our sector is facing and for making tourism a champion of the Sustainable Development Goals.”
Interested parties have until 31 June to apply and take part in the global challenge.