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Welcome Challenge – Hospitality and Travel Industry

Tourism forum combined with start-up competitions.

Welcome Challenge – Hospitality and Travel Industry

23 October 2018


Introduction to the World Challenge


   The Welcome Challenge is organised by CBC Georgia. The founders Gela Andrew Suli and Saba Kiknadze came with the idea 2 years ago when both men went to a start-up championship in Copenhagen. They decided to organise a forum in which start-ups will pitch their ideas in front of an international and competent jury.

   For this second edition focused on Hospitality and Travel Industry, 21 start-ups were gathered. These 21 start-ups were pre-selected and were going through the semi-final and final stages.


Tourism industry in Georgia


   Tourism is a driving engine for Georgia and is progressing very fast. First of all, in 2018, the country received 8.5 million international travellers. Tourism represented 2 billion of revenues in 2017. In 2018, it is expected to exceed 3 billion. Also, Georgia is at the 4th place among the fast-growing destination in the World Tourism Organisation’s 2017 report, testifying of the tourists growing interest for the country.

   Georgia is nevertheless facing a challenge that is to service with quality the flow of oncoming tourists.


Start-ups: an innovative tool


   In order to remain competitive, it is important for a country to invest in new developing ideas, so in start-ups. There is a need for constant innovative solutions and unique travel experience.

   In order to remain innovative, entrepreneurs need to look for disruption: “an interruption in the usual way that a system, process or event works”. (Cambridge dictionnary)

   This is what made the success of companies, such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, Uber, Airbnb.. These young companies are having a turnover much more important than traditional and old ones.

   -Amazon succeeded to make money on an industry with a very small margin (books) by removing the capital of the retail estate.

   -Uber spotted the need to connect drivers with clients.

   -Airbnb connected people with flats.


The advices given to new entrepreneurs:


1.     Identify a gap that need to be fill

2.     Ask why it was no done before: New? What went wrong?

3.     Imagine the worst cases scenario to expect and be prepared to the downtowns.

4.     Raise more capital that needed.

5.     Be surrounded by people smarter and with different skills.


The way of doing advertisement also changed. First with the apparition of digital communication channels but also through the consumer behaviour. Now companies need to engage more with the final consumer.

Below the steps to engage:

1.     Be discovered – need for differentiation thanks to a concept.

2.     Behaviour segmentation -what people do and not always who they are (look at people activity)

3.     Communication - no mass communication but targeted

4.     Continuous relationships – permanent campaign and not only during special seasons

5.     Integrated channels – people are on different channels and not focus on only one.

6.     Data driven automation – need to analyse the impact


Start-ups’ competition and pitching


   The forum was followed by some start-up pitches where entrepreneurs where describing their projects to a jury in 3 minutes. Then the cession was followed by questions from the jury. At the end of the day some of them were selected for the next day to the final. 21 start-ups from various countries where attending.

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