UNWTO Challenges

UNWTO Challenges

UNWTO Innovation Challenge

Reto Innovación Colombia

The UNWTO and Procolombia have partnered up to launch the UNWTO Innovation Challenge to promote sustainable, inclusive and innovative tourism in Colombia. Now more than ever, entrepreneurs are needed to forge a new path forward. Novel ideas and products that address pressing issues such as gender equality, digitization, environmental preservation and youth leadership will be crucial to reactivate the Colombian post-COVID-19 economy.

The winners of this challenge will receive a scholarship for one of the certified UNWTO Tourism Online Academy courses as well as global recognition for their product.

Apply by October 30, 2021 to take part in this unique opportunity!


NEOM: Tourism Experiences of the Future

NEOM: Tourism Experiences of the FutureCalling all Saudi entrepreneurs! Make your mark on the world’s most cutting edge tourist destination: NEOM. NEOM, the first independent international zone located in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, redefines our way of life – offering an intelligent, innovative, and sustainable new model.

The UNWTO and NEOM challenge Saudi entrepreneurs to pitch a startup which aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, introduces novel technologies, and disrupts traditional business models. The startup must create an experience for NEOM tourists and citizens alike.

Winners of this challenge will receive mentoring, networking, and scholarship opportunities with the UNWTO and key partners.  The top entrepreneurs will have the incredible opportunity to showcase their start-up at the Tourism Experiences of the Future event in NEOM. Semifinalists will be awarded $2,000, and the winner of this challenge will receive a total prize of $10,000.

The deadline for applications is October 24, 2021. Apply today!



Hospitality Challenge (closed)

UNWTO Hospitality ChallengeWith modern society immersed in an unprecedent situation, The Hospitality Challenge is a global call aiming to receive projects that can help hospitality sector reboot. Now, as the industry restarts, this competition is designed to identify ideas and individuals capable of accelerating recovery while promoting inclusivity and sustainability in the sector to invent the hospitality of tomorrow.

The 30 finalists will be eligible for full scholarships in 15 different programmes in Hospitality, Culinary and Pastry Arts Management, (Bachelors, Masters, MBAs) offered in the world-class academic institutions of Sommet Education: Glion Institute of Higher Education in Switzerland and London, Les Roches Crans-Montana in Switzerland, Les Roches Marbella in Spain and École Ducasse in France.

Among the 30 winners, the top three most innovative entrepreneurial projects will be granted funding to support their initial development by Eurazeo, leading global investment group from which Sommet Education is a portfolio Company.

We encourage you to participate in the Hospitality Challenge. We need your solutions!


Smart Solutions for Smart Destinations Challenge (closed)

Smart Solutions for Smart Destinations Challenge

The World Tourism Organization together with Athletic Club of Bilbao and the Provincial Council of Bizkaia have launched the Smart Solutions for Smart Destinations Challenge to drive innovation and promote entrepreneurship in tourism.

This new challenge is designed for startups with innovative and intelligent ideas to maximize the visitor experience in stadiums or at events. All solutions must facilitate the entire tourist experience, including before and after an event not just during it. 

In particular, the competition is looking for ideas whose benefits will be felt throughout the wider Bizkaia region, complementing the work of Athletic Club. 

The winning startups will be given the chance to work alongside Athletic Club for six months to develop a pilot project. 



HEALING SOLUTIONS FOR TOURISM CHALLENGE A global call to reach the most disruptive startups, entrepreneurs, innovators and existing technologies to mitigate Covid-19 impacts on tourism through health, economic and destination recovery solutions.

UNWTO received over 1,000 applications from over 100 countries for the Healing Solutions for Tourism Challenge, launched to identify the most disruptive startups, entrepreneurs and drive solutions to mitigate COVID-19’s impact on tourism.




The UNWTO Inspiring Africa - Branding Challenge gathered key actors from the marketing and branding sector to present their proposals for a campaign that positions Africa as a destination in the minds of travellers.  Beyond COVID-19, the campaign aims to create a positive image of Africa as a tourism destination that support the efforts of individual countries and companies, tells the many positive stories about Africa and makes tourism a driver of development.