Prof Martin Barth, President & CEO, World Tourism Forum Lucerne, discusses the two finalists from India and why more start-ups should consider applying for their Innovation Camps. He adds that the main factors they considered in the selection process were pressing problems that candidates aimed to solve and their potential to scale.
Was there a recurring pattern in the type of innovation developed by the finalists this year?
Not at all, and this makes it so interesting for us and the whole industry. The start-ups have different backgrounds, tackle different issues and come up with great new business models. There are great ideas of supporting companies to make remote work more meaningful. Another start-up is focusing on mobile ordering and delivery of food. One is focusing on mobile-based tour guides or a new supply management concept for hotels.
Tell us what made you pick Ecowrap as one of the finalists?
Ecowrap is a finalist in the Impacting category (Sustainability and Social Impact) where the competition was very tough and we received many high-potential, very diverse business models which made it very challenging for the jury to select three finalists. The main factors that weigh up in the selection process are the pressing problems that candidates are solving and their potential to scale. Ecowrap stood out exactly for this reason. It offers a much-needed solution to a pressing problem in emerging countries- a one-stop solution for waste segregation, collection, tracking, and recycling and up-cycling for HORECA sector. It has also demonstrated solid traction and great potential to go international, and therefore we believe that it could benefit enormously from the camp’s exposure to foreign markets outside India. PashooPakshee stood out among close to 150 other applications as they offer a solution to a real problem to both tourists looking for purpose and destinations looking to showcase better their unique identity and support local artists.
What will the Start-Up Innovation Camp involve?
The Start-up Innovation Camp gives start-ups a chance to connect with investors and the industry. During the four days, they will be coached from master students from the university in Lucerne who arrange individual meetings for them including personal coaching with our innovation partner Accenture. Different keynotes, discussions and exchanges will complement the Camp. Last but not least, all start-ups work on a local challenge to add value to the destination in which the Camp will take place.
When can start-ups send in their application for the next year?
The dates for 2022 are not fixed yet. But what we know is that we will organise our second Start-up Innovation Call and Camp in India in 2021. After our successful start in December 2019 in Bengaluru, we will be back with our partners IHCL and TATA Trusts with the Subcontinent India call soon. We hope to have more partners who will join our initiative to support and highlight the best start-ups. India is a very interesting market for travel and tourism. India has to offer what tomorrow’s travellers are looking for: great hospitality, outstanding landscape, rich culture, enough space, sustainable tourism products and delicious cuisine.