Youth in Tourism Innovation Challenge 2024

Youth in Tourism Innovation Challenge 2024: A Platform for African Youth to Showcase Their Creative Solutions for the Tourism Sector

The Youth in Tourism Innovation Challenge 2024 is a pan-African competition that aims to identify, support, and celebrate the most innovative and impactful solutions for the tourism sector, developed by young entrepreneurs and startups across the continent. The challenge is organized by Africa Tourism Partners, in collaboration with the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and BDO.

The challenge invites young people aged 35 and below to submit their projects that address one or more of the following themes:

  • Enhancing the resilience and sustainability of the tourism sector
  • Leveraging digital technologies and platforms to improve tourism services and experiences
  • Promoting inclusive and equitable tourism development and empowerment
  • Fostering creativity and cultural diversity in tourism offerings
  • Enhancing the quality and competitiveness of the tourism workforce and skills

The challenge is open to entries from November 1, 2023 to March 1, 2024. The entries will be evaluated by a panel of experts from the tourism industry, academia, and civil society, based on the following criteria:

Clearly indicate the following to avoid disqualification:

  1. The vision, uniqueness, authenticity and rationale.
  2. Evidence of innovation in travel & tourism or related industry challenge being solved in Africa – COVID 19 era and into the future (such as technological, social entrepreneurship, educational, youth empowerment and job creation, environmental sustainability, community development, etc.)
  3. The sustainability of the impact of the project on travel and tourism, local communities and/or related industries.
  4. Timelines for the project.
  5. The kind of support required – funding, investors, mentorship, partnerships, etc.
  6. Conclusion/additional, but relevant information of not more than 500 words.
  7. Competitor required to show a demo/Minimum Viable Product (MVP) (5 min) during the presentation.
  8. Age limit – 35 years.

Competition Timeline

  1. Challenge Opens: 01st November 2023.
  2. Closing date: 01st March 2024.
  3. Adjudicators will shortlist Top 5: 22nd March 2024.
  4. Shortlisted project promoters will be informed: 29th March 2024.
  5. Mentorship for elevator pitches (12 hours): 10th April – 16th May 2024.
  6. Submission of shortlisted project promoters: 5-minute presentation at the Summit – 15th May 2024.
  7. Top 3 announced on 31st May 2024.
  8. Competitor required to show a demo/ Minimum Viable Product (MVP) (5min) during the presentation.
  9. Winners & Runners-up announcement: At ATLF Awards in Gaborone, Botswana October 2024

The winner of the challenge will receive a grant seed of USD 1,000 in cash and in-kind, as well as mentorship, partnership, and funding opportunities. The first and second runners-up will receive USD 500 each in cash and in-kind, as well as similar benefits. All the finalists will also receive complimentary enrolment for short courses provided by UNWTO, as well as access to the Africa Tourism Innovation Hub, a platform that connects and supports tourism innovators in Africa.

The Youth in Tourism Innovation Challenge 2024 is a unique and exciting opportunity for African youth to showcase their creative solutions for the tourism sector and to contribute to its recovery and growth. For more information and to enter the challenge, visit the official website 

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