Futbol Club Barcelona & UNWTO Sports Tourism Start-up Competition 2019


UNWTO Sports Tourism Start-up Competition 2019The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), in collaboration with Futbol Club Barcelona, presents the 1st UNWTO Sports Tourism Start-up Competition.


Identify challenges and projects, and catalyzing innovations that can transform the Sport & Tourism sector in the near future.

Tourism is a driver of inclusive economic growth and sustainable development, a cross-cutting with a high impact on the promotion of social welfare, with the aim of boosting the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

With continuous growth in the last decade, tourism generates approximately 1 out of 10 jobs and accounts for 10.2% of world GDP. Tourism and sports are two forces that lead to a conjunction that allows contact between different countries and different social groups.

The undoubted influence of sports in the decision to visit a destination and the growing demand for tourism have made this area one of the segments with the greatest development opportunities attracting growing interest on the part of governments. Sports & Tourism maintains as one of the most dynamic and creative segments of tourism allowing different nations to outstand globally.

Sports & Tourism stimulates entrepreneurship and the generation of new companies and organizations that necessarily affect other industries transversally and fosters values such as:

  • Sustainability based on maintaining a balance between economic growth, sports and innovation.
  • Cooperation, solidarity and unity amongst all actors that belong to sports and tourism sector.
  • Authenticity by highlighting local sports and cultural values.

Sports & Tourism is in itself, a stimulus to creativity, innovation and sustainable growth where startups with disruptive and open visions can propose new future scenarios that have a positive and transversal impact on various sectors so that they can collaborate and contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.


The projects must be aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations and the introduction or adaptation of digital and technological elements, and focused on one (or several) of the following areas:

  1. Destination management or private management of solutions/products/services developed around Sports as Inclusive Tourism products.
  2. Supply-side configuration seeking balance between sustainable development and the profitability of the project, maximizing the positive impacts on the community and environment.
  3. Connection with the market and the user experience in all phases of the trip.
  4. New ways to use technology resources in sports and its involvement in developing Smart Cities.

Who can apply?

  • Startups in the Early Stage or Series A Stage
  • Both for-profit and non-profit
  • Natural or legal persons
  • Startups with a minimum viable product (MVP)
  • Startups with potential for scalability
  • Startups with a sustainable vision


  • Innovation and disruptiveness
  • Potential impact and scalability
  • Initially validated or tested business model
  • Partnership Readiness
  • Solutions related with tourism, sports and SDGs
  • Suitable and committed team
  • Sustainability in the value proposition
  • Technological or digital component


About Barça Innovation Hub

It is a worldwide center for sports knowledge and innovation that counts with the participation of professionals and world leaders who work to create and share new technologies, processes and experiences that may add value not just to sports but to different sectors promoting an ecosystem around the world of sports endorsed by sports organizations, investigation centers, universities, entrepreneurs and start-ups.

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