Israeli startups Refundit, Pruvo, SeeVoov and Howazit captured four of the 10 finalist slots in the inaugural United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) startup competition. They bested 3,000 other applicants from 132 countries.
“This is a significant achievement for companies in the field of tourism technology in Israel, which position Israel as a global leader in the domain,” said Economy Minister Eli Cohen.
Run in partnership with Spain’s largest tourism corporation, Globalia, the competition aims to identify startups that will lead the transformation of the tourism sector.
The winner will design a pilot project with Globalia and its major brands, which include AirEuropa, Be Live and Travelplan.
All 10 finalists will receive sponsored participation and networking opportunities at FITUR, the International Tourism Trade Fair in Madrid on January 23-27, 2019.
Refundit of Tel Aviv (cofounded by Uri Levine of Waze fame) makes an app that makes it easy to file VAT refund requests before leaving a foreign country. It is being piloted in Belgium.
Pruvo of Haifa alerts users of lower prices for hotel bookings they’ve already made, and rebooks if they so choose.
SeeVoov of Omer is an interactive video travel-planning app that uses artificial intelligence and deep learning to create a video of places of interest and has a portal to make reservations.
Herzliya-based Howazit helps tourism businesses communicate better with customers with the goal of improving satisfaction, loyalty, engagement and sales.