The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) launched a new startup competition to support female tourism tech entrepreneurs and innovators across the Middle East. The Women in Tech Startup Competition: Middle East was announced at Biban 2023, Saudi Arabia’s largest SME conference, as part of UNWTO’s ongoing efforts to make tourism a pillar of women’s empowerment in the region.
“Tourism startups have the power and agility to transform the sector in line with the Sustainable Development Goals,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili. “Tourism startups are also leading the way in advancing women empowerment, in the Middle East and globally, and UNWTO is delighted to support the region’s best innovators and digital entrepreneurs.”
The Women in Tech Startup Competition is accepting applications until the end of July 2023 and is open to startups led, owned, or managed by women residing in any of the following countries: Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Libya, and Yemen. Startups must also have a minimum viable product or idea ready to be developed and funded, a full-time team, a tested pilot and business plan, and the capacity to be scalable for international growth.
To qualify, startups must also belong to at least one of the following categories: social impact, tourism and travel experience, future tech, and event and community.
Winners will be announced at the Tourism Tech Adventure (TTA) to be held on World Tourism Day—September 27th, 2023—in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.