Halla Travel and Blue Odysea are the winners of the “Travel Tech 4 Good” start-up initiative for the tourism sector in Egypt. It was launched jointly by the TUI Care Foundation and Berlin-based NGO enpact. The winners receive a cash reward for the best presentations and most progress made throughout the initiative. Halla Travel is an online-platform working with small agencies across Egypt, providing them with better access to customers. This creates jobs whilst strengthening little-known destinations in Egypt. Blue Odysea develops an online-platform for sustainable and regenerative travel experiences. Holiday experiences such as free diving or yoga retreats offer great opportunities for growth and further diversify Egypt’s holiday experiences.
By announcing the winners after three months, the TUI Care Foundation and enpact successfully finish the Egyptian chapter of the initiative. The partnership fosters entrepreneurship and empowers young founders with access to support services and expertise, in order to boost small businesses in the field of travel and tourism with a focus on social impact and sustainability.
Amir Abdallah, Founder and CEO of Halla Travel, summarizes: “The initiative helped me to understand and increase the positive impact that my idea has on people’s lives. It has been an incredible experience to be mentored by passionate and professional people from different countries and backgrounds. I will never forget where my journey started.”
In Egypt, it is not easy to setup a business for a lack of accessible expertise, finance and support services that help founders take their business ideas to the next level. Over the last three months, the TUI Care Foundation in partnership with enpact, supported by the World Tourism Organization of the United Nations, implemented this mentoring programme to boost visionary entrepreneurs in Egypt’s tourism sector. A demonstration day showcasing the founder’s presentations took place in December in Startup Haus Cairo in front of an international jury.
Dagmar Wöhrl, Member of TUI Care Foundation’s Board of Trustees, says: „Entrepreneurs have always been the backbone of social change, sustainable development and innovation. It’s been inspiring to see how much personal and professional progress these visionary Egyptians made in only 12 weeks. Without the dedication and support of our partners, enpact and UNWTO, and the voluntary experts of TUI, this would not have been as successful.”
During the previous 12 weeks, the purpose driven founders were supported by numerous mentors, experts and coaches, who boosted their growth both personally and professionally. More than 95 mentoring and coaching sessions took place, of which numerous were done by experts working with TUI, the world’s leading tourism business. 16 voluntary TUI experts coming from 6 different European countries were engaged in the programme. The sessions taught state of the art concepts of entrepreneurial thinking. Among them, social impact, business modelling, agile working, digital marketing and customer validation. The learning experience is at the heart of the programme, which built a meaningful intercultural bridge between Egypt and Europe.
As a recognition for the best presentations held and most progress made during this initiative, a cash reward is issued to both Halla Travel and Blue Odysea. On top of that, supported by the World Tourism Organization of the United Nations (UNWTO), Halla Travel is invited to attend the 2nd Global Start-up Competition of UNWTO, which takes place as part of the International Tourism Fair in Madrid in early 2020.
Furthermore, the Travel Tech 4 Good initiative is expanding to East Africa in early 2020. The call for participation will be published soon.