UNWTO Awake Tourism Challenge (2022)

UNWTO Awake Tourism Challenge (2022). Tourism is a robust industry. While it has been one of the most hit by the global crisis, it has also shown that it has the ability to be a significant driver of recovery.

UNWTO Awake Tourism Challenge (2022)

With faster digital transformation and technology adoption throughout the tourist value chain, the industry has emerged as a leader in addressing the most difficult issues.

At the same time, teenagers have shown their potential to develop technological, social effects, and long-term solutions.

They do, however, need actual backing in order to maintain their momentum and reap the full rewards of their efforts.

As a result, UNWTO is urging stakeholders to work together and has launched the Awake Tourism Challenge to uncover the most creative businesses striving to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Requirements for UNWTO Awake Tourism Challenge:

Startups from all walks of life, from all corners of the globe, and from all sectors of the economy are encouraged to apply if they fit the following criteria:

  • Be innovative in nature providing value-added solutions
  • Be sustainability-driven
  • Be scalable: to have the
  • potential for international growth and potential to be applied in corporations and destinations (countries, regions)
  • Be an Early Stage or Series A startup
  • Introduction or adoption of digital and technological elements
  • Have a tested pilot and business plan
  • Have been accelerated before
  • Have a full-time team including at least 2 members under 35 years. Gender balance will be also considered.

Technology, social impact, and sustainability solutions are all acceptable forms of innovation.

Categories for UNWTO Awake Tourism Challenge:

The UNWTO has chosen six difficulties that will serve as the program’s categories.

Because certain initiatives may be able to contribute to more than one area, the one with the most beneficial effect should be chosen.

  1. Local community involvement: 80% of all people living in ‘extreme poverty’ live in rural communities while domestic, rural, and eco-tourism have emerged as the most popular travel choices. With a focus on communities, the sector has a great potential to stimulate local economies and improve the economic conditions of low-income and vulnerable populations.
  2. Green and blue economies: tourism can be a source of economic opportunities at the same time as protecting natural ecosystems by developing its operations with sustainable infrastructure through more efficient energy, water, and waste management systems.
  3. Ecological and Sustainable Capital Creation: sustainable capital has the potential to optimize resource usage, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and also provide a competitive market advantage for businesses. At this point, green investments and sustainable financial mechanisms can boost tourism potential to achieve the SDGs.
  4. Tourism Tech for Good: advancements in deep technology have revolutionized the sector, especially since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, by simultaneously improving customer experience and increasing quality of life and wellness for societies, including topics such as accessibility, and inclusion, poverty alleviation. Artificial Intelligence, crypto, blockchain, metaverse, and NFTs are welcomed in this category.
  5. Tourism Education: despite representing 10% of the world’s jobs2 before Covid-19, tourism has faced a challenge in terms of skills development. Indeed, almost 20%3 of the employed people in selected tourism industries in the European Union had less than primary and lower secondary education in 2018. Furthermore, currently, there is no continuous measurement or updated data on skills development and its contribution to creating added value jobs, which are fundamental to advance in this agenda.
  6. Women Empowerment: while employing the largest number of women in most regions of the world, they yet tend to be concentrated in the lowest-paid and lowest status jobs in the sector. Startups with a gender focus can be an important contributor to equality.

Benefits of UNWTO Awake Tourism Challenge:

  • Sponsorship provided by Wakalua to pitch at the UNWTO Demo Day (venue and country TBC);
  • Application through the YouNoodle platform, which facilitates introduction and growth opportunities for startups;
  • Access to 90+ Venture Capitalists, Top Corporations, and 150+ Countries;
  • Become a Member of the UNWTO Innovation Network;
  • Curated mentorship and acceleration program from our partners;
  • Membership at the Startup Campuses;
  • Potential pilot project with private-sector collaborators and institutions;
  • Potential seed funding;
  • Incubation services in Les Roches Spark Innovation Center, including 3 months of accommodation in Crans-Montana, are provided by the Sommet Education group.

How to Apply:

Get ready for your application:

  1. Keep in mind the category you will apply for
  2. Read the Terms & Conditions of the Competition
  3. Read the questions in the Application form
  4. Make an attractive pitch deck in English (no more than 15 slides)
  5. List your web page, social media users, and contact information
  6. Once you have all of them ready, fill out the Application form in English and submit it

Fill out the Application form in English after you’ve completed all of them.

Timeline for UNWTO Awake Tourism Challenge:

  • Launch: 21 April 2022
  • Deadline for candidatures: 30 June 2022
  • Announcement of winning startups: October 2022
  • Pitching round for winners: December 2022

Application Deadline: June 30th, 2022

Visit the official website of the UNWTO Awake Tourism Challenge

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