Meet the Judging Panel

Chairman of the judging panel

Evantia Giumba

Evantia Giumba

Director, Amadeus Launchpad, EMEA, AMADEUS

Evantia Giumba is the head of the Amadeus Launchpad in EMEA, in charge of identifying and supporting new players entering the travel space.

Long-time supporter of smart and sustainable collaboration between large corporations and startups, she has been involved with several incubators and startup accelerators across Europe. Evantia Giumba has held several senior roles in innovation, consulting, business development and sales. She is an experienced leader with success in designing and executing creative strategies to changing business needs.

She spent more than fifteen years in the travel industry.


Alex Cruz

Alex Cruz

Senior Tourism Specialist

Alex is a board member and advisor at tech companies (Spain, and Fetcherr (Israel, He advises private equity investing in travel and travel tech companies and teaches at IESE Business School’s Advanced Management Programme. He was previously Chairman and CEO at British Airways and Vueling, and Accenture’s aviation practice lead. He started his career at American Airlines in Dallas.


Aradhana Khowala

Aradhana Khowala

CEO & Founder, Aptamind Partners

Aradhana Khowala is CEO & Founder and of Aptamind Partners a strategic hospitality and tourism consulting company advising tourism leaders. She is a passionate advocate for women in leadership and has over 17 years of experience across over 60 countries. In 2014, she was chosen and featured as one of the 50 most influential next generation leaders who will likely define the future of the hospitality industry by Swiss Economic magazine Bilan. She is a regular speaker, moderator and presenter at Tourism Summits and has interviewed heads of state, tourism ministers and CEO’s globally. Aradhana has an MBA from Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne and also read at the Cornell University in New York. She guest-lectures on Tourism and Entrepreneurship at different Universities.


Liz Ortiguera

Liz Ortiguera

Chief Executive Officer, PATA

Liz Ortiguera is a senior executive with over 25 years of global experience and expertise in general management, marketing, business development, and partner network management. Liz is passionate about innovation, business transformation, and community building. Her career spans several industries – travel/lifestyle, technology, financial services, and pharmaceuticals. She has
experience in working at both multinational corporations including American Express and Merck and start-up environments in software as a service (SaaS), e-commerce, and ed-tech. For 10 years she was the General Manager for Amex’s Travel Partner Network in Asia-Pacific, managing partnerships with top travel management companies, MICE, and leisure agencies in the region.

Liz is an alumna of the Stanford University Graduate Business School, Columbia University Business School, New York University, and The Cooper Union in New York.

World Tourism Forum Lucerne

Elena Cholakova

Elena Cholakova

Head of Innovation Projects, WTFL

Elena is a managing partner for the WTFL Innovation Projects. She specializes in Tourism Strategy and is passionate about social entrepreneurship in emerging economies. Elena brings 5 years experience working for UNWTO on development projects related to the implementation of the UN Agenda 2030 and runs her own consulting and project management company- TIPS2030.

She is an alumna of Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (Switzerland), DEUSTO (Spain) and Ljubljana University of Economics (Slovenia).


We are looking for international start-ups who go the extra mile to move forward their ideas despite all odds in the competitive tourism start-up landscape and the challenging times that industry faces due to Covid-19.


Accelerate sustainable development

Show scalability potential

be technology driven

be founded after 2016


Ice water in your veins

Remaining optimistic, confident and moving forward despite all odds.

Game of the inches mindset

Staying focused and achieving results, even if it’s one inch at a time.

Covid-19 related restrictions and rules

  • You need to comply with the UK rules and restrictions regarding Covid-19
  • You need to comply with the Covid-19 protocol during the WTM London

Please note that if due to Covid-19 regulations, you need to quarantine, we will not be able to cover any associated costs. If you are among the finalists and you are not able to enter into the UK, we may offer you the opportunity to pitch online.



Smart Mobility

To ensure that mobility needs of the current generation will not be met at the expense of future generations, mobility needs to be equitable, efficient, safe and climate responsive. We are searching for solutions that will help in the race to:


  • Achieving a net-zero-emission economy by 2030
  • Improving the planning and efficiency of public transport means
  • Reducing congestion and citizen frustration
  • Optimizing parking spaces and their management
  • Connecting rural areas and vulnerable groups


Understanding and responding to consumer changing behaviour will be essential to the recovery of the hospitality sector. We are looking for start-ups to accelerate the race to:


  • Transforming the hospitality industry and providing innovative accommodation options and useful tools for both providers and users
  • Achieving Net Zero CO2 Emissions Buildings, sustainable design and construction solutions
  • Integrating circular economy models and services

Experiences Revolution

Companies need to reimagine the customer experience and re-engage with customers to build and maintain their trust. We are searching for solutions to help in the race to:


  • Empowering tourists to discover destinations in a more responsible and sustainable way
  • Transforming the way we experience a destination including our own home cities
  • Connecting and respecting local communities and nature