Main IATA navigation

Travel Innovation Competition 2017

The Travel Innovation Competition aims to ignite new ideas across the travel industry. Finalists will win a range of prizes such as a sponsored incubation program in the Silicon Valley, a unique opportunity to attend the IATA World Passenger Symposium (WPS), network and present their ideas on stage to all the delegates.

Submission period is closed

The submission period is now closed. The finalists will be announced mid-September.

Competition Topics

The ideas submitted should be about one of the below topics:

  • Travel payment solutions
  • Travel business intelligence and insights
  • End-to-end travel experience​​

It would be a plus if the idea is leveraging emerging technologies such as:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Virtual Assistants & Chatbots
  • Distributed Ledger technology
  • Advanced Analytics & Machine Learning
​​The judging criteria (pdf) provide more details on how the ideas are assessed by the jury panel (pdf). ​​​​


The jury panel has finalized the assessment of the submitted ideas; and the 3 finalists of the 2017 edition are:

Destygo: Software as a service travel chatbot
Destygo is an AI driven chatbot platform for the travel industry actors to allow them to assist travelers throughout their journey, leveraging natural language processing. It envisages to eliminate pain points for travel companies, as well as the travelers.

Flyto: Instant point of sale travel financing
Flyto helps travel companies i.e. airlines and online travel agents sell more flights/holidays and increase average spend by offering instant consumer credit at the point of payment. When booking a ticket/holiday, customers are expected to pay the full booking value up front. This can be a huge financial burden.

SAM(SeatAssignMate) Email: Interactive Email based Ancillary Merchandising
A flight check-in app built into the traveler's confirmation email, to enable ancillary upsell, such as seats, baggage, and meals. A real-time dynamic seat map is synchronized at email opening for free/paid seat assignment. Any loyalty points owned by the traveler can instantly be used for payment. Everything is done within a few clicks in email; there is no PNR logins or plugin downloads required.

Contest Prizes 

1st Place

Sponsored incubation program in Silicon Valley by Plug and Play
Sponsored entry and speaking slot at the IATA WPS conference
Sponsored exhibition booth at the IATA WPS conference
Sponsored flight and hotel to the IATA WPS conference

2nd Place

Sponsored IATA incubation program
Sponsored entry and speaking slot at the IATA WPS conference
Sponsored exhibition booth at the IATA WPS conference
Sponsored flight and hotel to the IATA WPS conference

3rd Place

Sponsored entry and speaking slot at the IATA WPS conference
Sponsored exhibition booth at the IATA WPS conference
Sponsored flight and hotel to the IATA WPS conference

Key Dates

  • 29 March 2017 - Competition launch
  • 28 July 2017 - Competition closure
  • 14 September 2017 - Announcement of the finalists
  • 24 - 26 October 2017 - Final round at the IATA WPS conference

Frequently Asked Questions

Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions below, and if you have other questions contact us at innovationcompetition@iata.org.

Do I need to have a company to submit an idea?

No, any business idea will be considered.

Is there a cost associated with participation to this contest?

No, participation is free of charge.

Can I submit more than one business idea?

Yes, you can submit as many business ideas as you want.

What should the ideas be about?

The ideas should be about one or more of the competition topics; and ideally disrupt the travel value chain for the better leveraging new technologies. The goal should be to:

  • Decrease costs incurred by airlines and others across the travel value chain
  • Enhance the end-to-end travel experience
  • Simplify the processes for airlines and others across the travel value chain with focus on speed, efficiency, and effectiveness.
  • Enable ancillary revenues

In case of a team, do we need to submit individually?

No, you do not need to submit individually- you can submit your idea once as a team.

If my idea is a product already on the market, can I still submit it?

The contest is about new ideas, so ideally, the idea should not be a product that is already in the market. If it is in market, it would have to be at the very early stages. Mature products that have already been implemented are out of scope.

Will there be Travel Innovation Competition in 2018?

Yes, please visit our website regularly to stay updated on the 2018 edition of the competition

How can I increase my chances of getting to the final?

Ideas that are aligned with one of the 3 competition topics, leveraging emerging technologies, have the highest chance of getting through to the final round of this competition. Refer to the judging criteria document for more detail. In addition including a short video (max. 2 min) where you are pitching the idea is a great way of complementing your submission.

Need Help?

Contact us

Our mission is to represent, lead and serve the airline industry

Additional information