Qatar Airways has partnered with Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) to support a global start-up competition event to be hosted in Doha, and initiated by the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The competition will invite ‘bright minds’ to pitch ideas to accelerate Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) within the tourism industry.

The competition is aimed at global entrepreneurs whose ideas contribute toward the achievement of the 17 United Nations SDG through state-of-the-art methods, governance structures and social impact initiatives, technological applications and other ways of chosen innovation.

From July to October 2020, successful applicants are selected based on pre-requisites such as innovative value-added solutions, with potential for international scalability. A final event is set to be held in Doha in February 2021 with flights, transportation and accommodation of finalists provided by Qatar Airways and QNTC.

Vital Role of Tourism

Qatar Airways recognises the vital role that the tourism sector plays in the positive fulfilment of societies’ economic potential and cultural relevance. Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive and QNTC Secretary General, HE Akbar Al Baker, said that 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.

We look forward to welcoming these bright minds to Doha, with the anticipation that they can accelerate their vision towards a sustainable future.

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashviki said they are committed to strengthening their long-standing partnership with Qatar Airways and QNTC. He said that while COVID-19 has taken an unprecedented toll on tourism, it also made clear the important role that tourism plays in every part of society.

We commend the dedication of Qatar Airways for continuing to carry passengers safely throughout this time, and in the new reality that awaits us all.

The national carrier of the State of Qatar will be actively 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 submit their application through the competition website before Saturday, 10 October.