Two UK start-ups reach finals of UNWTO Awake Tourism Challenge

Two UK start-ups have been named among the 30 finalists in the UN World Tourism Organization’s Awake Tourism Challenge.

There were more than 2,000 entries into the sustainability competition from 120 countries.

The UK’s Trees4Travel was named as a finalist in the Ecological and Sustainable Capital Creation category, while Weeva was a finalist in the Green and Blue Economies category.

The challenge was the second edition of the UNWTO start-up competition focusing on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Entrants were judged on how they are contributing to the development of an inclusive, resilient and sustainable tourism sector. There were 15 winners across a range of categories.

Zurab Pololikashvili, UNWTO secretary-general, said: “Tourism start-ups have the power and agility to transform the sector in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Nico Nicholas is chief executive of Trees4Travel, which creates climate-positive programmes and aims to support up to 13 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

He said: “We are over the moon at this recognition of everything we have achieved…and are working toward.”

Weeva is a sustainability management platform for the hospitality sector, helping accommodation providers gather data about their impact and make positive changes.

 Julie Cheetham, managing director, said: “We are so thrilled to announce that Weeva has been selected as a finalist…from among over 2,000 applicants.

“This fantastic initiative showcases top start-ups from within the global tourism innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem.

“Weeva has been selected based on its demonstrated capacity to support sustainable development goals, and we could not be prouder.”

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