London-based artificial intelligence travel start-up KOMPAS was named in the top ten in a first tourism start-up competition organised by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).
Kompas competed against an initial 3,000 applicants from 132 countries in a competition created by UNWTO, Globalia, Spain’s largest tourism group, and Fitur, the international tourism fair, to identify emerging start-ups making an impact in the travel industry.
Pitching to world leaders in both the private and public sectors, KOMPAS finished among map-based accommodation tool Stay22, the over 50s peer-to-peer travel club The Freebird Club and tax refund start-up Refundit, which was named the winner.
The judging panel consisted of leading names in Europe’s tourism industry including UNWTO secretary-general Zurab Pololikashvili, Globalia chief executive officer Javier Hidalgo, Grupo Barrabes president Carlos Barrabes, Portugal Ventures investment director Miguel Barbosa and IE Business School vice president Juan Jose Guemes.
Pololikashvili said: “We’re highlighting the need for investment in the digital technologies that can help to create innovation and entrepreneurship in tourism.
“Innovation and digital advances give tourism opportunities to improve sustainable development objectives like inclusiveness, strong communities and resource management.”
Tom Charman, chief executive officer of KOMPAS, said: “With huge travel technology scenes growing in the likes of Tel Aviv and Austin Texas, now is the time for travel startups to make use of new technologies and growing datasets to either disrupt or work with incumbent companies that until now have owned the majority of the travel market.”