The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Athletic Club and Bizkaia Provincial Council have joined forces to boost entrepreneurship and innovation linked to tourism. The three organisations have launched Smart Solutions for Smart Destinations Challenge, a competition for startups which calls on innovative companies around the world to find smart solutions to make San Mamés stadium a focal point for inspiring new tourist experiences for the whole of Bizkaia.
The challenge is based on the premise that urban stadiums act as central nodes for receiving large volumes of visitors. The joint project organised by the UNWTO, Athletic Club and the Provincial Council invites people to connect San Mamés, an icon of avant-garde design and one of the main tourist infrastructures in Bizkaia, to the rest of the tourist offer in the different areas of the region.
Smart Solutions for Smart Destinations Challenge is aimed at startups all over the world and is aligned with the philosophy shared by the 3 promoters in terms of the opportunity represented by the link between innovation, technology, sporting values and tourism. So, we suggest to all innovative companies that are interested that they take part in the challenge of designing new experiences that future tourists will demand through technology and connectivity, with safety, inclusion, sustainability and an excellent, stand-out tourist offer as the guiding threads.
The winning startups will have the opportunity to develop a pilot project in collaboration with Athletic Club for 6 months. Furthermore, if these companies are from Bizkaia or decide to change their tax domicile to the region, they will have the full support of Bizkaia Provincial Council, including business growth and acceleration services, advice on funding their projects and space in co-working facilities for a period of 6 months.
The Smart Solutions for Smart Destinations Challenge competition has two categories:
- Projects that are in the prototype or conceptual design development phase (pre-seed phase)
- Projects with a pilot project tested in the market.
The competition also stipulates that solutions proposed by the startups must be aligned with one of the following areas of expertise:
- Optimisation of the potential of events to develop tourism at the destination.
- Smart facilities as event connectors in cities and regions.
- Impact of new technologies on smart destinations.
- Smart solutions for sports tourism destinations.
- Football stadiums as catalysts for the sustainable regional growth of tourism.
- Alternative, complementary business models to take advantage of the economic impact of an event on a destination.
- Smart experiences for future tourism.
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