Nepal’s Community Homestay Network is awarded as the winner of the UNWTO Global Startup Competition for Transforming Tourism (SDG8 segment).
The competition, which was supported by the United Nations Innovation Network, attracted some 10,000 initial proposals. From these, the jury chose 25 winners from 18 countries, highlighting the array of tourism talent in every global region and its widespread ability to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Shortlisted finalists were judged according to criteria which included the potential of the startups to contribute to a specific Goal, their ability to be scaled-up and the maturity of both the product and the team behind it.
The 25 winning startups, selected by a jury made up of leaders from across the tourism sector, offer distinct solutions for advancing the SDGs. The Americas led the way in submitting winning proposals, with nine of the competition winners coming from the region. Europe provided eight winners, Asia and the Pacific six, and Africa and the Middle East one winner each.
Mr. Shiva Prasad Dhakal, Founder of Community Homestay Network (CHN), said, “It’s indeed a great honor for the CHN team and our nation in setting the example and positioning Nepal as the leading destination for Community-Based Tourism; connecting global-travelers with the real faces of Nepal for an authentic local travel experience. Community-Based Tourism could be the model product for Nepal to diversify tourism prospects in the rural and emerging tourism destinations throughout the country, wherein we must embrace sustainable and responsible practices in its operation and management.”