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India innovates: From left: Akanksha Bumb & Malini Gowrishankar (F5 Escapes), Naveen Mamgain (Quick Ride), Martin Barth (President & CEO, WTFL), MeTripping Representative, Kumar Anubhav & Vikram Pratap Singh (NotOnMap)
 
 
World Tourism Forum Lucerne's first start-up innovation camp held in India, attracts 200 applicants.

Bangalore, December 24 2019: The World Tourism Forum Lucerne (WTFL), a global platform  for  tourism, travel and hospitality,  announced its presence in India in December 2019, with  a well-attended innovation camp for startups focusing on four Cs: culture, community, conservation and commerce. Entrants were challenged to come up with  solutions in the  four areas that would benefit the tourism and hospitality ecosystem. Over 200 fledgling  Indian businesses  responded. Sixteen finalists were invited to a  2-day camp in Bangalore, where they were mentored to fine-tune their pitches before four eventual winners were selected, each reaching a  US$ 10,000 prize.
This was the first such startup camp that WTFL held outside its Swiss headquarters  and  CEO Prof  Martin  Barth  explained why: "India has all the ingredients for success in this arena:  a Brand India with 5 Ts: Tradition, Talent, Tourism, Trade and Technology. A  niche product portfolio in travel, tourism and hospitality sector in India is expected to grow at a rate of 100% by 2028. We believe, organizing the event in India this year gave us an opportunity to come across some  very  interesting ideas."
The competition was conducted In collaboration with Tata Trusts, Indian Hotels Company Ltd, Swissnex India and the Global Himalayan Expedition.
After a round of 16  presentations, 4 winners were announced. The top startups in   Community, Conservation, Culture and Commerce  were  F5 Escapes, Quick Ride, NotOnMap and MeTripping, respectively. 
Prof Barth  committed to the startup event returning to India next year to unearth more Indian innovation. Puneet Chhatwal, Managing Director and CEO, The Indian Hotels Company (IHCL) said, “Tourism has been one of the growing economic sectors across the world. IHCL is proud to support WTFL in this great initiative to recognize innovation in the travel, tourism and hospitality sector, which is one of the biggest job creators globally.”
 Prabhat Pani, Senior Advisor - Partnerships, Tata Trusts,  added:  “The Travel, Tourism and Hospitality sector has the opportunity to bring about irreversible change in the remotest parts of India, through collective efforts of several institutions and influencers in the society. Tata Trusts believes that wider impact can be achieved through the creation of a collaborative ecosystem that fosters innovation, inclusion, sustainability and entrepreneurship.”