Sonntag, 17.11.2019 00:43 Uhr

First UNWTO Sports Tourism Start-up Competition

Verantwortlicher Autor: Carlo Marino Rome/Madrid, 17.06.2019, 14:13 Uhr
Nachricht/Bericht: +++ Reise & Tourismus +++ Bericht 5913x gelesen

Rome/Madrid [ENA] The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in collaboration with Barça Innovation Hub (BIHUB) and with the support of the Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC), on 14 June 2019, has publicized the launch of the First UNWTO Sports Tourism Start-up Competition. Barça Innovation Hub is a global sports knowledge and innovation Centre where professionals and world leaders work together to create and share new technologies,

products and services that add value not just to sports but to related sectors. The Hub encourages an innovative ecosystem around the world of sports, validated by sports organizations, research centres, universities, entrepreneurs and startups. The initiative is intended to discover projects and innovations that can transform the sports tourism sector in the near future. Growing demand from tourists and the expanding influence of sports on destinations’ popularity have merged to make sports tourism one of the segments with the greatest potential for socioeconomic development opportunities, attracting increasing levels of government interest.

The First UNWTO Sports Tourism Start-up Competition, launched by UNWTO and BIHUB, with the support of QNTC, is looking for start-ups with disruptive ideas focused on resolving real needs and addressing knowledge gaps in the growing sports tourism sector. In all, 20 start-ups will be shortlisted by a panel of international experts and sports and tourism stakeholders, drawn from the public and private sectors, academia and civil society. The shortlisted start-ups will be announced on the competition’s website. The panel will then select five semi-finalists who will all be invited to Barcelona to pitch their ideas to sports experts, government representatives, tourism business leaders and international investors.

“We are pleased to be partnering with the Barça Innovation Hub to harness the potential of sports tourism to stimulate creativity, innovation and sustainable growth. Through this competition, start-ups with disruptive visions can propose new ideas that will allow the sports tourism sector to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals. We thank BIHUB for their vision and collaboration and, as we move towards the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, we thank the QNTC for their support for this exciting project,” declared UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili as he opened the competition.

As part of the partnership with QNTC, the winning ideas will also be taken into account for implementation in Qatar, which is gearing up to host the FIFA World Cup 2022. His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, Secretary General of QNTC, commented, “At QNTC we believe sporting events have a unique power to bring people of the world together, and that is also why sports tourism is a key focus area in our tourism vision. We look forward to seeing the innovative ideas that will come through the inaugural Sports Tourism Start-Up Competition and hope that one of them will come to life in Qatar.”

Marta Plana, Director of BIHUB, added: “We are very pleased to work together with UNWTO to develop tourism in relation to the sports industry, a growing sector, and identify companies with the talents to help achieve this. Barcelona is a city linked to design and innovation, and a tourism hub. At BIHUB we want to make Barcelona the Silicon Valley of the sports industry and to use our experience as a tourist attraction, with the FC Barcelona museum the most visited in the Catalan region and more than 4 million people visiting our ground every year.” The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is the leading international organization with the decisive and central role in promoting the development of responsible and sustainable tourism.

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