StartupTourism strengthens the pillars of new companies in tourism   

KLAK – Icelandic Startups and Ferðaklasinn have joined forces to revive the business accelerator StartupTourism in a new form as an incentive for innovation and entrepreneurship in tourism and to strengthen the foundations of new companies. The StartupTourism accelerator was run four times in the years 2016-2019 with great results, and 15 of the 39 companies that participated in the accelerator are still active today. The need for such an accelerator in the field of tourism has never been greater, as tourism is now one of the most important links in the Icelandic economy.

"It has never been more important to use innovation to solve the challenges facing the tourism industry. The supportive environment for innovation in Iceland is becoming more and more powerful and it is important to use it for the tourism industry as well and revive this cool accelerator that the tourism industry had. It is gratifying that many parties have expressed interest in joining the project as sponsors, and we aim to complete the financing of the project in the coming weeks.” says Ásta Sóllilja Guðmundsdóttir, manager of KLAK – Icelandic Startups. 

Isavia's passenger forecasts at the beginning of the year assume that 2.4 million visitors will visit Iceland in 2024. If these numbers hold, it will be the highest number of tourists since the beginning of measurements. Plans and assumptions can change in a short time, and that is why it is more important now than ever to foster innovation and development in the industry to make it even more competitive with the nations with which we are mainly competing for the favor of the guests. There are therefore huge opportunities in steering and supporting this development and using the StartupTourism accelerator for that. The cooperation between Ferðaklasan and KLAK will make it easier for entrepreneurs to realize their ideas based on ingenuity and at the same time will increase sustainable value creation in tourism permanently.

After Ástu Kristína Sigurjónsdóttir, executive director of the Ferðaklasan: 

"StartupTourism will also place great emphasis on sustainability and environmental protection, as respect for Icelandic nature and society is not only a prerequisite for sustainable development in Iceland, but also for the success and profitability of Icelandic tourism. StartupTourism will focus on the participation of startups from the rural areas, and both the setup of the accelerator and its promotional campaign will be tailored to meet their needs.

The start-up companies that get a place in the StartupTourism accelerator will benefit from the guidance of experienced entrepreneurs, investors and various key players in the field of tourism as well as other experts, as well as KLAK VMS mentors and managers free of charge.