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June 27, 2019

UNWTO and Unidigital support innovation and entrepreneurship in the Americas


The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) provided its support at the inauguration in Argentina of the first specialized hub for tourism in the Americas – Unidigital.

Unidigital is the result of the collaboration between the public and private sectors to promote innovation in tourism. It will offer services, products and training in digital transformation in order to allow the most disruptive entrepreneurs in tourism in the Americas to develop their projects. The Hub was presented as part of the UNWTO Tourism Tech Adventure Forum, held on 11-13 December 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

“Today is a historic day because we have brought together many tourism authorities of the Americas to inaugurate this place, which is open to any entrepreneur, and where together we will do very interesting things and achieve excellent results,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili. He added: “We are committed to helping them find investors and give them the opportunity to internationalize not only in the Americas, but also beyond the continent.”

The Minister of Tourism of Argentina and Chair of the UNWTO Executive Council, Gustavo Santos, stressed that “innovation and tourism are allies in generating life opportunities for our people and creating employment”. He added: “This reaffirms our commitment and responsibility towards this sector, which will lead human development in the years to come.”

Unidigital founder and CEO Felipe Durán thanked the authorities for their presence and said: “I am excited for Buenos Aires to be the gateway to the Americas, a place where art, technology and tourism come together; with our projects we are going to get involved in people’s tourism.”

The Unidigital Hub opened in the context of the UNWTO Tourism Adventure Tech Forum, the tourism and technology forum organized by the UNWTO and the Ministry of Tourism of Argentina. The winner of the UNWTO Data Challenge 2018 was also announced at the event, Diego Turconi. This project is organized in collaboration with the ieXL of IE University, whose objective is to demonstrate the ability to generate data-driven solutions.

The regional Startup Competition was won by Eduardo Zenteno del Toro, with his Nenemi project, a platform that seeks to bring Asian travellers to Mexico with potential for expansion in the Americas. He will now have the opportunity to avail Unidigital’s services valued at up to 100,000 dollars.

Participating in the UNWTO Tourism Tech Adventure Forum are leaders in innovation, top-level startups and key actors in the global innovation and digital transformation ecosystem.

It is an unprecedented platform for entrepreneurship and tourism innovation, with the aim of creating synergies between the different actors, exchanging success stories and fostering a venture capital investment culture. Likewise, this space provides solutions to challenges related to digital transformation as a source of employment generation, competitiveness and sustainable development.

In this same context, a seminar aimed at ministers of the Americas and Argentine national ministers was held on how to build successful digitalization strategies. A workshop for startups was also held, addressing the subject of motivation for tourism investors and entrepreneurship.

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