All of the information below is from the competition's official website: 

Short Description 

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. 


The following enterprises are eligible for application. 

  • 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 tested pilot and business plan 

The project application should focus on one of the following key areas: 

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

The project will be evaluated on the following criteria: 

  • Potential Impact 
  • Business model 
  • Team profile 
  • Solution uniqueness & feasibility 
  • Scaibility & Sustainability 


The competition provides the following opportunities for selected projects. 

  • The 20 runners up will pitch at the World Tourism Day celebrations in Budapest in September. 
    • The trip will be fully funded 
    • Participants will also benefit from a master class 
  • The 10 finalists will pitch in front of investors in FITUR 2019 in Madrid. 
    • The trip will be fully funded 
    • Finalists will be able to network with the > 200,000 participants at FITUR 
  • The winning startup will receive the opportunity to design a pilot project with Globalia, Spain's largest travel corporation. 


September 3rd 2018 - Application Close 

Mid-September 2018 - Announcement of runners-up 

September 27th 2018 - World Tourism Day (Semi-finalists invited to Budapest to pitch) 

October 25th 2018 - Announcemnet of Top 10 finalists

January 23-27th 2019 - Top 10 Finalists pitch at International Tourism Trade Fair (FITUR 2019) in Madrid 

Application Method

Startups must fill out an online project application available at by September 3rd 2018.  

About the Organizations 

This competition is hosted by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in partnership with Globalia. 

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.  

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.