After attaining a successful stature at global level, World Tourism Forum Lucerne (WTFL) made its debut in India this year with first-of-its-kind competition – Indian Start-Up Innovation Camp 2019. The event concluded recently at Taj, Bengaluru where the four winners with the most unique and innovative ideas were announced. In the first phase of evaluation, WTFL shortlisted 16 unique startups for the final round after evaluating 200 startup applications. Winners of this competition were announced in the categories of Community, Conservation, Culture and Commerce respectively in the field of travel, tourism and hospitality from the Indian subcontinent. They were also rewarded with USD 10,000 each along with a personalised two-year mentoring by industry experts.
The event gave the attendees a chance to interact with the founders along with an opportunity to vote for their favourite winner. Martin Barth, President and CEO, World Tourism Forum Lucerne said, “Out of all the game-changing ideas by 200 startups that applied for Indian Start-Up Innovation Camp 2019, we are happy to announce the names of four most unique startups that stood out with flying colors. We believe, organizing the event in India this year gave us an opportunity to come across interesting ideas. Considering that, India has a niche product portfolio in travel, tourism and hospitality sector and is expected to grow at a rate of 100% by 2028. We are sure to make a mark and create awareness around the on-going environmental issues and look forward to holding more such engaging events in India in the coming years.” Before joining the travel, tourism and hospitality sector, Martin trained, qualified (admitted to the bar in 1993) and worked as a lawyer for several years. His corporate experience included positions as a business lawyer at law firms in his home country of Switzerland where he provided counsel to a range of diverse companies.
In 1994, Martin joined the Mövenpick Group and spent the next six years in the company. As Secretary General he was responsible for the general secretariat, the law department, coordination of the real estate division, group-wide human resources services, and legal support in connection with trademark rights and acquisitions. Martin also held the role of a Board Member of various Mövenpick Group companies.
Following his experience, Martin got increasingly interested in the tourism and hospitality sector and in 2001 took up a new challenge as Tourism Director responsible for managing the Savognin Tourismus destination. In 2003, Martin was appointed as Chair of “Tourism and Mobility” at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. Today, he is Professor at the Institute of Tourism, where he teaches on service marketing, sustainable development and hotel management.
In 2009, Martin conceived, organised and hosted the first World Tourism Forum Lucerne and since has been at the helm of the organisation promoting tourism globally with heads of state, ministers, chief executives, academia and the next generation on a common platform across the world. He is especially focused on managing and ensuring Tourism has a broader impact on people, places, community and the environment.
As a practitioner turned researcher and professor turned entrepreneur, Martin continues to consult for various professional associations or organizations in the destination promotion tourism and hotel management areas globally. He is an Alumni of the prestigious St. Gallen University in Switzerland.