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The travel sector is recovering slowly and unevenly from the pandemic, so startups will need all the help they can get to thrive.

Travel technology company Travelport has joined with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to debut a travel startup accelerator, the companies said on Thursday.

The project’s first edition invites startups to apply for a multi-week session that aims to mentor entrepreneurs in developing solutions in areas such as data protection and customer acquisition. The inaugural wave will accept ten startups and have a focus on digital marketing and personalization.

“Travelport Accelerator supports that effort by giving travel innovators the potential to pitch their technology to some of the most influential leaders in the global travel industry and to influence the future of travel retailing,” said David Peller, managing director, AWS travel and hospitality.

Startups accepted into the program will get access to Travelport’s data capabilities, AWS’s channel expertise, Travelport’s agency and supplier partners, such as airlines, hotels, and car rental companies, and AWS’s travel customers and other clients.

Judges from American Express Global Business Travel, Christopherson Business Travel, Direct Travel, Internova Travel Group, and Priceline will pick a few of the startups. AWS will give free or discounted access to its cloud hosting and analytics services during the program to the participating upstart companies.

Running a startup isn’t easy, as Travelport, based in Langley, UK, knows from experience. The company ran a startup incubator between 2015 and 2018 called Travelport Labs in Denver. Other companies have run accelerators, with some having since gone on hiatus while others, such as IAG’s Hangar 51 and Plug and Play Tech Center, say they’re thriving.

AWS recently launched an AWS Space Accelerator for ten startups out of its division focused on aerospace and satellite providers.

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Tags: amazon web services, incubator, startups, travel startups, travelport

Photo credit: A May 2019 view of an AWS, or Amazon Web Services, startup workshop at Enercare Center in Toronto, Canada. Sam Barnes / Flickr/Creative Commons

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