UNWTO Global Rural Tourism Startup Competition 2021 for Startups and Entrepreneurs

Competition in Business and Law , in Natural Science
  • Apply Before : July 1, 2021

Opportunity Details

  • Opportunity ID 143864
  • Degree Non Degree Program/Certificate
  • Language Requirement Not Required
  • Opportunity Type : Fully Funded
  • Gender MaleFemale
  • Language of Instruction English
  • Application Fee Required No

Opportunity Description

About the competition

Application is now open for the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Global Rural Tourism Startup Competition 2021. The competition seeks to identify and support new startups and innovative entrepreneurs that amplify the contribution of tourism to rural development and support recovery from COVID-19. So, if you are an entrepreneur with a new idea or you run a startup, share your unique idea for a more inclusive, enduring & resilient tourism sector.

Why this competition?

For sure, tourism is a tool for economic diversification and a tremendous employment engine with a great impact on other sectors that contribute to rural development. Moreover, tourism in rural areas can specifically be fruitful for traditionally underprivileged groups such as women – who constitute 54% of the labor in the tourism sector comparing to 39% for the whole economy. Therefore, this competition is of immense importance at this time of a global crisis.

Important details

Application deadline: 1 July 2021

Organizer: UNWTO

Announcement of finalists: 15 August 2021

Announcement of winners and final pitch session: October 2021

competition goals

Through generating opportunities in Rural Destinations capitalizing innovation and digital transformation, it aims to:  

  • Eradicate poverty in the rural communities
  • Prevent depopulation in the long-term in the world
  • Bridge the digital divide between living in developed and least developed countries
  • Support women and youth in the tourism sector


Participating startups/organizations will benefit from the advantages as follows:

  • Mentoring by UNWTO and major partners
  • Personalized support for their startup
  • Investment opportunities
  • Be part of the UNWTO Innovation Network
  • Form part of the UNWTO Best Tourism Villages of the World Pilot Initiative
  • Get scholarship opportunities for the Tourism Online Academy
  • Opportunity to pitch their startup at the 14th UNWTO General Assembly in Marrakech Morocco

Competition categories

The UNWTO Global Tourism Startup Contest consists of four below categories (4Ps):

  • People (leaving no one behind) _ it looks for projects that spark the creation of employment opportunities, advance gender, and youth empowerment and so on.
  • Planet (building back better) _ projects/work pertaining to the preservation of natural resources.
  • Prosperity (opportunities for thriving) _ startups that provide creative solutions through groundbreaking business models, tools that improve access to finance, marketing, and marketing for tourism in rural areas.
  • Propulsion of Rural Tech – (implementing new technologies) _ innovations that involve new technologies to promote tourism and development in rural areas.


Entrepreneurs and startups that have a new idea relating to the topic of the competition or operating in one category area of the competition can apply and submit their project and/or solutions.

How to apply?

Applicants can apply online through the competition’s online application link.

Apply Now

For more information about the competition, please refer to the official link.

Visit the website of Scholarship for Afghanistan for numerous other opportunities.


Other opportunities you may like