WTM London, Travel Forward & World Tourism Forum Lucerne Launch a Start-Up Competition

WTM London, Travel Forward & World Tourism Forum Lucerne Launch a Start-Up Competition

Innovative technology start-ups will have the opportunity to enter the Front Runners Travel Tech Competition which takes place on 2 November at Excel London

WTM London, Travel Forward and World Tourism Forum Lucerne (WTFL) are joining forces to launch a start-up competition and summit for technology start-ups offering sustainable and innovative solutions to the travel, tourism and hospitality industry.

Front Runners Travel Tech Competition will shortlist 30 start-ups across three categories to be promoted among WTM’s and TF’s exhibitors and attendees as top innovators to partner with to thrive in an era where tackling sustainability are becoming imperative.

The categories have been chosen to invite creativity and raise awareness for much-needed solutions around key themes: Smart Mobility, Hospitality of the Future and Experiences Revolution.

The summit will take place on 2 November 2021 during WTM London and Travel Forward physical shows at Excel London, when nine finalists (top three per category) will be invited to pitch to an international judging panel and exclusive audience of investors, industry leaders and innovators.

The application window is now open and the call will run until 26 August 2021.

WTFL is a non-profit Swiss-based institution that brings together decision-makers from industry, government, academia, young university graduates and start-ups. It runs start-up camps that drive and support innovation in tourism since 2015 and it has developed a Dealflow tool solution that connects start-ups to potential investors.

Simon Press, Event Director at WTM London and Travel Forward, said:

“We’re buzzing at the prospect of bringing together WTM London’s destinations, Travel Forward’s tech audience and the WTFL’s gravitas and experience for our new start-up competition concept that aims to drive positive change and bring tangible value to the industry.

“The B2B focus creates a perfect circle of opportunity – B2B start-ups are developing the solutions and tools that the industry needs, while the industry requires solutions and tools that the start-ups are developing.”

Martin Barth, President & CEO at WTFL, said:

“We’re delighted to be working in partnership with WTM London and Travel Forward. There is a natural synergy for innovative tech start-ups with WTM London and Travel Forward’s established global audience of destination – and tourism-centric exhibitors, buyers and suppliers.

“We’re confident that Front Runners will offer an exclusive platform for early-stage start-ups to be put in the spotlight and get traction for their solutions. The sustainable focus of the competition also resonates with the end customer and the global investment community, which is currently seeing strong returns and multiples on enterprise start-up plays.”

Front-runners will be spotlighted during WTM London and Travel Forward and enter into a prestigious WTM London & Travel Forward’s start-up shortlist.

They will also fly to London (flights & accommodation included) and benefit from networking and B2B meetings.

Moreover, finalists will join the exclusive WTFL Dealflow Tool – a proprietary platform that connects travel start-ups with potential backers, investors and service providers.

Start-ups are invited to apply by clicking here.

WTM London and Travel Forward in-person shows will take place from November 1-3 at ExCeL London and will be followed by WTM & TF Virtual on November 8-9.




World Tourism Forum Lucerne, is an exclusive platform where leading global companies from the travel, tourism and hospitality industries meet to shape a more sustainable future for tourism. It gives decision makers in-depth insights into the most important topics faced by the tourism industry and a unique global network. World Tourism Forum Lucerne is the only platform to integrate start-ups, next generation leaders and students into one event. Over the past ten years it has developed to become a year-round network of CEOs and thought-leaders who are advocating for positive change in the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors.


WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend three-day exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry. Around 50,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international media visit ExCeL London every November, generating over £3.71 billion in travel industry contracts.

Next live event: Monday 1 November to 3 November 2021 at ExCel London

Next WTM Virtual: Monday 8 November to 9 November 2021 – Virtual


Travel Forward London is the leading travel technology event, co-located with WTM London. Travel Forward is renowned for showcasing the next-generation technologies for the travel, tourism and hospitality industry. Over 19,000 travel officials and 150+ innovative solution providers attend for 3 days of cutting-edge insights, open debate and unrivalled networking opportunities. The combination of a 2-day conference, interactive exhibition and start-up showcase makes Travel Forward truly unique.

Next live event: Monday 1 November to 3 November 2021 at ExCel London

Next Travel Forward Virtual: Monday 8 November to 9 November 2021 – Virtual


London Travel Week, brought to you by WTM London, is the one-stop-shop for event hosts and visitors to be able to shape the next 12 months of travel together. The festival of events supports the global travel and tourism industry through capturing invaluable news and enhancing industry connections.

Next event: Friday 29 October – Friday 5 November 2021


WTM & TF Virtualis the WTM Portfolio virtual platform, created to offer global delegates the chance to arrange one-to-one virtual meetings, to do business, attend conference sessions and roundtables, take part in speed networking and more. WTM Virtual embrace the global leading travel shows in one platform.

About RX

RX (Reed Exhibitions) is in the business of building businesses for individuals, communities and organisations. We elevate the power of face-to-face events by combining data and digital products to help customers learn about markets, source products and complete transactions at over 400 events in 22 countries across 43 industry sectors.
RX is passionate about making a positive impact on society and is fully committed to creating an inclusive work environment for all our people.   RX is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. www.rxglobal.com

About RELX

RELX is a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. The Group serves customers in more than 180 countries and has offices in about 40 countries. It employs over 33,000 people, of whom almost half are in North America. The shares of RELX PLC, the parent company, are traded on the London, Amsterdam and New York Stock Exchanges using the following ticker symbols: London: REL; Amsterdam: REN; New York: RELX.  The market capitalisation is approximately £36.6bn, €42.4bn, $51.5bn.*

*Note: Current market capitalisation can be found at http://www.relx.com/investors

World Travel Market brings the travel industry together through world-leading events, content and digital tools that make it easier for you to find personal and business opportunities and do more effective business.

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