2nd UNWTO Tourism Startup Competition 2019 (Funded trip to Madrid, Spain)

Application Deadline: November 15th 2019

For the second straight year, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is running the world’s largest tourism startup competition boosted by wakalua, the global tourism innovation hub.

Together with our corporate partners we want you to tackle the core concepts of travel shaping the sectors future. Beat your competition with the most disruptive, innovative and sustainable solution and become the next game changer in tourism.


Your startup will be evaluated on the following criteria.

Business model, Potential impact, Scalability, Team profile and Sustainability


  • 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


Pitch & Connect

Be one of the top 3 challenge finalists to pitch in front of investors, mentors, leading corporates and international tourism stakeholders during the Grand Finals – one per corporate challenge – in Madrid, Spain, on 21 January 2020.


Gain a fully sponsored trip and free access to exclusive networking opportunities with tourism leaders and global tourism stakeholders during the Madrid International Tourism Trade Fair 22-26 January 2020 (FITUR).

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Pilot & Mentorship

As a winner you will have the opportunity to design a pilot project with the corporate leading your challenge and receive world class mentorship.

Pilot & Scale-up

Win the special award on Sustainability and run a pilot with Globalia, leading tourism corporation in Spain and Latin America, including a 6-week scale-up programme at the wakalua hub in Madrid, Spain.


The competition timeline : 12 September 2019
Applications open : 15 November 2019
Applications close : 02 December 2019
Two-week round of online interviews with selected startups : 16 December 2019
Announcement finalists : 21 January 2020
5 Grand finals, one per challenge, in Madrid, Spain.

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the UNWTO Tourism Startup Competition 2019

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