1st UNWTO Tourism Startups Competition 2018 (Win fully-sponsored trips to Hungary and Spain)

1st UNWTO Tourism Startups Competition 2018 (Win fully-sponsored trips to Hungary and Spain)

Deadline: September 3, 2018

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), in partnership with Globalia, invite applications for the 1st UNWTO Tourism Startup Competition, the world’s largest initiative dedicated to identifying the startups that will lead the transformation of the tourism sector! The UNWTO Tourism Startup Competition is a global initiative which aims to find and foster the development of startups looking to lead the transformation of the tourism sector.

In the wake of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, they are looking for the most disruptive Startups that are transforming the way people travel and experience tourism. Compete for the opportunity to network and pitch your disruptive solution to a jury of global tourism leaders, including top global investors and corporations, at high-level tourism events.

Is your startup transforming the way people travel and experience tourism? Enter the Tourism Startup Competition for a chance to design your pilot project with Globalia, Spain’s largest travel corporation


The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. As the leading international organization in the field of tourism, UNWTO promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability and offers leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies worldwide.

Globalia is Iberoamerica’s largest group of tourism with a turnover in 2016 of 3,570 million euros. With a presence in over 20 countries and 15,000 employees, the Globalia Holding provides services to all sectors of the tourism industry. It comprises a number of independent companies that are leaders in their markets, including Air Europa (airline), Halcón Viajes (travel agencies), Travelplan (tour operator), Be Live (hotel chain), and Groundforce (airport handling).


The programme will cover the travel and lodging expenses for two people for each of the top ten startups to attend FITUR 2019.

  • Pitch and Connect
    • The 20 runners-up will have the opportunity to pitch at the official celebrations of World Tourism Day (WTD), on September 27th 2018 in Budapest, Hungary.
    • 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 for scaling up companies, etc.
  • Pitch and Connect II
    • The 10 finalists will have sponsored participation at FITUR, the International Tourism Trade Fair, from 24 – 27 January 2019 in Madrid, Spain.
    • Be of one of 10 startups selected to pitch in front of potential investors, mentors and experts during FITUR 2019, the first of the world’s largest gatherings of tourism leaders. Receive a fully-sponsored trip and access to the four days of networking, mentoring and events. Connect to a network of over 200,000 participants from hundreds of countries.
  • Pilot
    • The winning startup will receive the opportunity to design a pilot project with Globalia, Spain’s largest travel corporation. Work closely with Globalia’s brands including Air Europa (airline), Halcón Viajes (travel agencies), Travelplan (tour operator), Be Live (hotel chain), and Groundforce (airport handling) and more.
  • Scale
    • Scale your startup by participating in the first-ever Global Tourism Innovation Hub. Gain access to mentors, participate in acceleration programmes, and discover unique funding opportunities.


They are targeting Startups that:

  • 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

Projects should focus on one of the following key areas:

  • Future of Travel
  • Experience of Tourism
  • Environmental Impact
  • Community Development


Your startup will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Potential Impact
  • Business Model
  • Team profile
  • Solution Uniqueness and Feasibility
  • Scalability and sustainability


Click here to apply.

For more information, visit Tourism Startups Competition.