KTO, Startup Junkie forge partnership for extending tourism technology globally

Kim Dong-il, right, executive vice president of the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO), and Louis Diesel, Startup Junkie's head of Asia,  pose after signing a business agreement at the KTO Seoul Center in central Seoul, Thursday. Courtesy of Korea Tourism Organization

The Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) and Startup Junkie, a U.S.-based entrepreneurial support organization, signed a business agreement, Thursday, to bolster projects testing the viability of ideas, products, services and technologies within the tourism sector.Through this partnership, the focus will extend to addressing specific system requirements in hotels and tourism sectors of various countries. The goal is to identify and match Korean companies possessing technologies that cater to these demands.Startup Junkie will play a pivotal role in supporting testing and evaluation processes, ensuring the practical effectiveness of these technologies when implemented within the intricate operational processes of the overseas tourism industry.Established in 2011 by the Sam Walton family, the founders of U.S. retail giant Walmart, Startup Junkie has been dedicated to nurturing U.S. startups and fostering an enabling environment for their growth. This has involved conducting accelerations in technology and high-growth sectors, along with managing venture capital funds.It is recently focusing on expanding partnerships with tourism sectors such as hotels, convention centers and travel agencies across Asia.

Through the business agreement, both parties pledged to cooperate in information exchange for the global expansion of tourism companies. They will actively support overseas demonstrations of domestic tourism companies’ innovative technologies and services, aiming for global growth and impact.Additionally, a joint project focusing on digital transformation and environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) aspects within the global tourism industry is on the agenda. This initiative can contribute to addressing issues like overtourism, which arises when destinations face an influx of visitors beyond sustainable levels”Indonesia will be our inaugural overseas country that will be supported with tourism technologies through this agreement,” said Kim Dong-il, executive vice president of the KTO.”The KTO will diligently pursue opportunities for business collaboration with government agencies and enterprises within the global tourism sector, aiming to establish a service export blueprint for our domestic tourism companies.”Since 2020, the KTO has supported over 110 startups in global expansion through the Tourism Global Challenge Program and support centers in Singapore and Tokyo. Its efforts paid off last year with a total of 80 impressive achievements, including establishing overseas subsidiaries, 메이저 forging partnerships and attracting investments.

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