OMT and the Barça Innovation Hub present the world competition of sports tourism companies


The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), in collaboration with the Barça Innovation Hub (BIHUB) and the support of the National Council of Tourism of Qatar (QNTC), has announced the launch of the first edition of the Competition of emerging companies of sports tourism of the UNWTO. The initiative aims to identify innovative projects that can transform the sports tourism segment in the near future.

The increase in demand by tourists and the growing influence of sports on the popularity of destinations have made sports tourism one of the segments with the greatest potential to generate opportunities for socioeconomic development, and that the interest of governments in it is increasing. The first edition of the Competition of emerging companies of sports tourism, an initiative of the UNWTO and BIHUB, with the support of the QNTC, seeks startups with groundbreaking ideas focused on satisfying real needs and filling gaps in knowledge about this growing sector. it’s sports tourism.

A group of international experts and interested from the world of sports and tourism, from the public and private sectors, academic institutions and civil society, will be responsible for pre-selecting 20 emerging companies from among the candidates, whose names will be published in the website of the competition. Next, the group of experts will select five finalists who will go to Barcelona to present their ideas to sports specialists, government representatives, leading tourism companies and international investors.

“We are pleased to collaborate with the Barça Innovation Hub to take advantage of the potential of sports tourism with a view to stimulating creativity, innovation and sustainable growth.” This competition allows emerging companies with breakthrough ideas to propose ideas with which the sports tourism sector contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals We want to thank BIHUB for its vision of the future and its collaboration and, with the celebration of the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar ever closer, we would also like to thank the National Council of Qatar Tourism for its support in this exciting project, “UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said in his opening speech.

As part of this partnership with the QNTC, Qatar, as the host country of the FIFA World Cup in 2022, will consider applying the winning initiatives.

His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, Secretary General of the QNTC, commented: “At the National Tourism Council of Qatar we believe that sporting events have an extraordinary ability to bring together people from all over the world, and that is why sport tourism is one We look forward to the innovative ideas born in this first Competition of emerging sports tourism companies and we hope that one of them will materialize in Qatar. ”

Marta Plana, director of BIHUB, added: “We are very pleased to work together with the UNWTO to develop tourism related to the sports industry, a sector in constant growth, and detect companies that can put their talent in service of this goal. Barcelona is a city linked to design and innovation, and a tourist attraction.From the BIHUB we want to turn Barcelona into the Silicon Valley of the world of sport, and take advantage of our experience as a tourist attraction, with a museum -the FC Barcelona- which is the most visited in Catalonia and with more than 4 million people who visit our facilities year after year “.