Qatar Airways has partnered with the Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) to support a global start-up competition in Doha, an initiative led by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), it has been announced.
The event is inviting bright minds to pitch ideas towards accelerating Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within the tourism industry, according to a press statement.
The competition is aimed at global entrepreneurs whose ideas contribute towards the achievement of the United Nations 17 SDGs through state-of-the-art methods, governance structures and social impact initiatives, technological applications and other ways of chosen innovation.
From July to October this year, successful applicants are being selected based on pre-requisites such as innovative value-added solutions with the potential for international scalability.
A final event is set to be held in Doha in February 2021 with flights, transportation and accommodation being provided by Qatar Airways and QNTC for the finalists.
Qatar Airways stressed that it recognises the vital role the tourism sector plays in the positive fulfilment of societies’ economic potential and cultural relevance.
“During these challenging times, it is essential for nations to provide platforms where entrepreneurs can realise innovative ideas that align with the current necessities of the worldwide market. As a company that is moulded strongly by tourism, we are determined to play our role in supporting the UNWTO through this competition, upholding sustainability and innovation at the heart of the global economic recovery,” Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive and QNTC Secretary-General HE Akbar al-Baker said in a press statement.
“We look forward to welcoming these bright minds to Doha, with the anticipation that they can accelerate their vision toward a sustainable future.”
UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashviki said: “We are committed to strengthening our long-standing partnership with both Qatar Airways and QNTC. Thank you for supporting this competition, the SDGs and those entrepreneurs setting out to making tourism safer, more responsible and more sustainable. While the Covid-19 pandemic has taken an unprecedented toll on tourism, it also has made clear the important role tourism plays in every part of society. We commend the dedication of Qatar Airways to continuing to carry passengers safely throughout this time, and in the new reality that awaits us all.”
The national carrier of Qatar will actively be involved in the competition finals, with a representative from the airline evaluating the participating start-ups through various competition phases, as part of the jury.
The UNWTO will advocate the best ideas to its member states, affiliate members and investors, providing winners with a unique networking and matchmaking opportunity.
Innovators are encouraged to apply through the competition’s website: https://www.unwto.org/sdgs-global-startup-competition before October 10.