Start-up Swayy, the new service that allows hotels and travel companies to quickly and easily connect with influencers, has been named the winner of the 2018 Travel Technology Disrupt Award.
The firm won a full-size stand at the 2019 event worth £8,000 plus marketing support.
Swayy applied for the event’s Launchpad, which supported 15 of the most innovative start-ups in the travel technology industry this year, and was voted to pitch among with four other finalists.
David Gabriele, chief executive of Swayy, said: “Winning this award is symbolic of the hard work and dedication we have put into providing accountability and transparency to hoteliers and travel companies around the world, both small and large.
“It’s no secret that the current way in which hotels and influencers work together is inadequate, time consuming and frustrating. We have streamlined the process and finally given much needed control back to the hotel industry.”
A judging panel decided which of the five finalists should win the Disrupt Award on the first day of TTE yesterday.
Judge Lee Hayhurst, Travolution editor and head of news at Travel Weekly, said: “I thought Swayy offers something really different to what other people are doing in the sector.
“We saw recently what happened with an influencer who’d been turned away from a Dublin hotel and it really divided opinion on who was in the right.
“Swayy provides a solution for hotels to vet their influencers, which is what they really need.”
Fellow Judge Renee Tsielepi, consultant at Transcendence, added: “The finalists all showed huge potential to disrupt the industry, Swayy particularly impressed by offering a much-needed solution to a difficult problem.
“Swayy’s platform quickly matches hotels and influencers and removes much of the pain for hoteliers in finding the right influencers to work with.”
Swayy’s fellow finalists were Protected Trust Services, Wanup, Live2Leave and Guidewiser.
They were chosen during a three-week online vote, which was open to the public and received over 1,000 nominations.
The shortlist then presented to a panel of judges in a Dragons’ Den style pitch to battle it out for this year’s crown.