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Innovation the key to success in global tourism

Innovation as the driving force behind international tourism was a major theme which dominated this month's 4th World Tourism Forum Lucerne in Switzerland. Reason enough therefore to launch the event's first "Start-up Innovation Award", won by initiatives from Vietnam, the USA and Australia. 

Lucerne, 29 April 2015 – The 4th World Tourism Forum Lucerne on 23 and 24 April 2015 emphasised the importance of innovation in the global travel sector. In his opening address, Swiss Economics Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann cited innovation – together with the skills of well-trained staff – as the key to sustained success. He called on the tourism industry to pioneer and perfect its own new business models.

To highlight the importance of innovative thinking, this year's World Tourism Forum Lucerne launched its first "Start-up Innovation Award". From among the 30 projects submitted from throughout the world, three initiatives were invited by an international jury to the World Tourism Forum Lucerne. The Forum's 450 participants selected as the most promising start-up enterprise the Vietnam-based "" project, which was awarded prize money of USD 10,000. Via excursions can be booked with local guides to destinations in Asia and increasingly in other countries worldwide. Said "" co-founder Hai Ho: "Our aim is to bring people together – and to bring travellers into contact with local cultures." Second and third places for the "Start-up Innovation Award" went to "World Connect" (USA) and "Freedom Explorer" (Australia). Each received USD 5000.

A declared aim of the World Tourism Forum Lucerne is to be alert to creative business ideas, as well as to further accompany, assist and coach the award-winning enterprises. Martin Barth, General Manager of the World Tourism Forum Lucerne, commented: "Innovation is indispensable for the sustainable future of global tourism. For this reason the promotion of innovation will remain a permanent priority for our event. Thanks to our inter-generational networking, we can ensure the necessary cross-communication and bring together experienced CEOs and young start-ups." Long term, the intention is also to present on a regularly updated overview of such business ideas.



World Tourism Forum Lucerne 

The WTFL is an interdisciplinary professional platform which offers decision-makers in business, politics, science and finance an overview of current topics and trends in the global tourism industry. It is the only international platform enabling leading decision makers and emerging young talents in the industry to interact under the "Next Generation" designation. The World Tourism Forum Lucerne is supported by an international Advisory Board under the chairmanship of Reto Wittwer (former CEO Kempinski Hotels & Resorts). The next World Tourism Forum Lucerne will take place on 4 and 5 May 2017. Further information:


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