Apply for the UNWTO Global Rural Tourism Startup Competition 2021, and be among those opportuned to receive support for your startup with investment opportunities, alongside adequate mentoring.

Application Deadline: July 1 2021


Open the Table of Content Below

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  • Mentoring by UNWTO and top partners
  • Tailored support for your startup
  • Investment opportunities
  • Form part of the UNWTO Innovation Network
  • Form part of the UNWTO Best Tourism Villages of the World Pilot Initiative
  • Scholarship opportunities for the Tourism Online Academy
  • Opportunity to present your startup at the 14th UNWTO General Assembly in Marrakech Morocco


  • Open to all Entrepreneurs, whether individuals or legal entities, of legal age and within the legal capacity to enter into a contract.
  • Projects must be aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations, with the introduction of technological elements and with a focus on one (or more) of the following areas:
    • The management of destinations or the private management of solutions/products/ services developed around or for tourism in rural environments.
    • The configuration of the supply side, seeking a balance between sustainable development and the profitability of the projects and maximizing it’s positive impacts.
    • The connection with the market and the user experience in all phases of the journey.

Free Worksheet and Checklist

Here at Camberene, we go the extra mile to make sure you win. So we have designed a beautiful checklist to help you keep track of your progress and make sure you’re doing things correctly.

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Application Instructions

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  • people

People – Leaving no one behind

Projects that incentivize the creation of jobs and opportunities, promote gender and youth empowerment, build opportunities for vulnerable groups in rural areas.

  • planet

Planet – building back better

Projects related to the promotion and protection of natural resources, namely the mitigation of the impact of tourism on waste, energy and water in rural areas.

  • prosperity

Prosperity – opportunities for growth

Startups that provide innovative solutions through new business models, instruments that promote access to finance, markets and marketing for tourism in rural areas.

  • propulsion

Propulsion of Rural Tech – Implementation of new technologies

Deep Tech – startups implementing new technologies to advance tourism and development in rural areas.

About the UNWTO Global Rural Tourism Startup Competition

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) believes that innovation is the key to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. To drive the digitalization of tourism, create an Innovation and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem that will maximize the potential of the sector in terms of economic growth, job creation and sustainable development, and to anticipate, address and overcome the new challenges and trends of the tourism sector, in 2018 UNWTO developed a framework for Innovation, Education, Digital Transformation and Investments.

The UNWTO Global Rural Tourism Startup Competition seeks to source new startups and entrepreneurs that advance the contribution of tourism to rural development and support recovery.

Creating opportunities in Rural Destinations through innovation and digital transformation in tourism to:

  • Fighting poverty: 80% of all people living in ‘extreme poverty’ live in rural communities.
  • Curbing depopulation: By 2050 68% of the world population will live in urban areas and cities will produce 85% of global economic output.
  • Closing the Digital Divide – 87 per cent of people in developed countries used the Internet, compared with just 19 per cent in the least developed countries.
  • Supporting Women and Youth- More that 50% of global workforce employed in tourism are women and nearly 1 billion of the world’s 1.2 billion youth aged 15-24 reside in developing countries and 88% of youth in developing countries live in rural areas; 75 million of them are unemployed.

Key Dates and Order of Program

Launch : 6 April

Deadline to submit : 1 July

Announcement of finalists : 15 August

Final pitch session and announcement of winners. : October.

Past Winners

  • 2019 Edition (Spain): The UNWTO Rural Tourism Competition (Spain) set out to promote solutions to rural Spain’s challenges, strengthen the role of tourism in addressing local problems with an emphasis on greater employment and entrepreneurship opportunities based on sustainability.
  • Partners: Google, Ministry of Energy and Tourism of Spain and FADEMUR.
  • Participants: Over 136 applications from 18/19 Spain’s Autonomous Communities.
  • Winners: My Street Book and Vanwoow (Spain).
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Babajide is a content writer and site admin at Camberene. He majored in zoology and is also a tech enthusiast proficient in the use of python, R and other data analytics tools.

Babajide is looking into using machine learning and artificial intelligence in the near future.