The role accelerators play in tourism recovery

I’m an optimist by nature, I always have been. My entire life. And that’s why I believe that we are currently in the recovery phase. One need only look at the latest data from the Portuguese National Statistics Institute (INE) that shows that, between April and June of this year, Portugal’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew 15.5% year-on-year and 4.9% compared to the previous quarter.

At Fábrica de Startups we want to continue contributing to this growth, helping people create their own employment, especially recent graduates and all those who were suddenly left unemployed due to the restructuring or bankruptcy of companies. We also want the startups that begin their journey with us to be an important contribution to relaunching Portugal, especially in a sector that is key to our country’s prosperity: tourism.

While it’s true that it was one of the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic, tourism is still one of the sectors with the greatest potential. After all, we still have all our tourism assets: the people, monuments, amazing weather, culture and history. The “only” thing missing is tourists who, right now, are still unable or afraid to travel from one country to another. But they’ll be back, sooner or later. That’s why at Fábrica de Startups there is still a need to teach and help people who want to create their own businesses.

And this is precisely what our acceleration programmes – such as Discoveries, Tourism adVenture and Tourism Explorers – set out to do: encourage entrepreneurship and create more and better startups. These programmes also aim to democratise access to information and methods for product development and to reduce the risk linked to launching new products on the market.

These three programmes are promoted under Fostering Innovation in Tourism (FIT), an initiative led by Turismo de Portugal aimed at encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation, through a protocol signed with around 40 Portuguese incubators and accelerators.

Discoveries is an international one-month programme where startups from around the world come to Lisbon to validate their business models, while Tourism adVenture is an open innovation programme that aims to contribute to innovation in tourism by bringing together businesses in the sector and startups. The first phase of Tourism Explorers invites people to share their ideas to innovate the tourism sector in their cities, who, in the second phase, then participate in acceleration, where they validate their business in the market.

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