- Özgür Töre
The growing sports tourism sector has taken center stage at the Global Tourism Economy Forum in Macau, SAR with the first ‘SPORTSTECH’ edition of the World Tourism Organization’s Tourism Tech Adventures initiative celebrating the most disruptive ideas and innovators from around the world.
As the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) reports that rising numbers of tourists are traveling for sports or wellbeing, the competition was launched the with aim of identifying supporting start-ups that excel in a number of ways, including their potential for scaling-up and ability to help contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
Within the framework of the Global Tourism Economy Forum, five finalists from the 1st UNWTO Sports Tourism Start-up Competition have been invited to Macau for a special masterclass on pitching and attracting investment. The finalists faced-off in a “Start-Up Battlefield” following sessions focused on the future of sports tourism and the potential for disruptive technologies to create value for tourism.
UNWTO General-Secretary Zurab Pololikashvili, opened the Tourism Tech Adventure event, highlighting the United Nations agency’s strong support for innovation, said: “Tourism and sport create decent jobs, promote local culture and provide opportunities for SMEs and entrepreneurs. Sports tourism can also contribute to creating peace, sustainability and inclusiveness, building bridges between different countries and cultures. UNWTO welcomes innovation in this niche sector and congratulates all today’s finalists on their vision and determination.”
The five finalists that beat off strong competition from hundreds of start-ups from around the world to make it to Macau, are:
Flyfoot (Lebanon)- Fly-Foot is the first online platform where football fans can book all- inclusive travel packages to watch their favorite teams play with just a few clicks and fosters local football communities.
Inclusive Society Led by Persons with Disabilities (Japan) - a travel agency specialized in adapting travel and sports to individuals with limited mobility to increase social inclusion.
Oevit (United States)- one-stop-shop solution for experience ecosystems. Oveit combines near field communication and biometric payments, audience engagement, loyalty programs, access control, registration and (e)ticketing.
WeFish (Spain)- Offers a fishing application which is interactive, simple and social - developed by fishers for fishers.
Runnin’City (Belgium)- Runnin’City (http://runnin.city) is a smartphone app that allows you to discover over 200 cities around the world while running (or walking)