The cutting edge in travel is here

The World Tourism Forum Lucerne (WTFL) is an annual event where global leaders in travel and hospitality meet the next generation of innovators. The scale of innovation and creativity is vast. TRAVTALK highlights six promising start-ups, including two from India, who reached the finals.

Hazel Jain

These challenging times call for a pandemic pivot. Travel and hospitality companies, regardless of their size, must take cue from the new normal and re-invent themselves to adapt to the new world order.Small start-up companies are already disrupting businesses and it will serve us well to take heed or risk irrelevance.

One such platform that is putting the spotlight on new businesses who have innovative products to offer is the World Tourism Forum Lucerne through its annual Start-Up Innovation Camp. It received over 400 applications from more than 90 countries, covering a broad spectrum ranging from digital solutions and gastro-guides to mattress rental. The scale of innovation and creativity is vast. Of these, 15 finalists were chosen under five categories. From India, it received more than 50 applications! This proves that innovative spirit is alive and well, despite the ongoing global pandemic. That’s why it is more important than ever to connect the driving forces behind it with established sources of knowledge and expertise, in order to shape the future of tourism together.

The Start-Up Innovation Camp 2021 will culminate in a hybrid festival dedicated to innovation in tourism on April 29-30, 2021 in Andermatt, Switzerland.

Angraj Swami, Head of Execution, Ecowrap (Jaipur)

“Ecowrap is a waste management cum FMCG supply chain platform for hotels, restaurants and cafes. We offer free waste bins to users to segregate different types of waste at source. Once the waste is collected, it is resold to recyclers, manufacturers. To promote waste segregation at source we provide infrastructure and training. Our business model incentivises waste generators for segregating waste at source.”

Savini Sonavaria, Managing Partner, Pashoo Pakshee (Mumbai)

“PashooPakshee works with communities that live near tourist destinations to make sustainable souvenirs. All our products are made by local artisans and women from marginalised communities living in wildlife conflict areas. The idea is to contribute to local economy with sale of souvenirs and inculcate a sense of pride in locals to preserve their destination. Usually, 20-25% of the proceeds go back to the communities as stipends.”

Six finalists to watch out for

Ecowrap (India) is an IoT and SaaS-based one-stop solution to help HORECA (hotels, restaurants, cafes) in sustainable treatment of their solid waste and also create livelihood opportunities for women.

Indy Guide (Switzerland) is a booking platform for local guides, drivers and tour operators in underrated destinations.

PIX Moving (China) builds autonomous driving chassis PIXBOT to integrate living, working and entertaining spaces atop, forming different moving spaces to provide on-demand services and shared mobility. Its application can enable small vendors reach larger audiences.

Booknbook (UK) is an all-in-one platform for restaurant transformation to redesign management and customer experience.

Avisio (Austria) is an all-in-one supply management platform for hotels. It helps hotels digitise analogue purchasing and storage processes by using data for better decision-making and more efficiency.

PashooPakshee (India) mission is to design and supply socially responsible and destination-specific souvenirs which are made by artisans and locals living near the destination.It was shortlisted for WTFL Innovation Camp 2021 in the top 10 in the Impacting category.


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