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UNWTO Announces Global Sports Tourism Start-up Competition

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) on Friday announced the launch of the 1st UNWTO Sports Tourism Start-up Competition that is designed to identify projects and innovations that can transform the sports tourism sector in the near future.

The competition is looking for start-ups with disruptive ideas focused on solving real needs and addressing knowledge gaps in the growing sports tourism sector.

“Increasing demand from tourists and the growing influence of sports on destinations’ popularity have combined to make sports tourism one of the segments with the greatest potential for socioeconomic development opportunities, attracting growing levels of government interest,” the UNWTO said in announcement.

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.

“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,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili.

The UNWTO has launched the competition in collaboration with Barça Innovation Hub (BIHUB) and with the support of the Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC).

As part of the partnership with the QNTC, the winning ideas will also be considered for implementation in Qatar, which is gearing up to host the FIFA World Cup 2022.

Further information on the 1st UNWTO Sports Tourism Start-up Competition is available on the following website: https://unwto-barcainnovationhub-challenge.org/en/

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