The Tourism Innovation Hub at Bethlehem University organized the first Tourism Innovation Bootcamp as part of the launching of its Tourism Innovation Hub – TIH in partnership with UNESCO. The Bootcamp started with Panel discussion involving the private sector, nongovernmental organization and UNESCO to discuss the challenges and opportunities in the tourism sector with the participants. The discussion was very animated with all participants and proceeded with group work to identify the specific challenges facing youth to start their business in the tourism sector.
Following the work on the challenges in the first day, participants work on transforming challenges into business ideas using design thinking approach to generate and reshape innovative business ideas by deep understanding of what people in this sector need and want.
After the work on the challenges and then generate the ideas, all participants joined a “Walk&Talk” day where they walk in the old city of Bethlehem and visit two previously incubated businesses at the BBI. The first stop station was at Dar Al Majus Community Home which’s a Cultural and historical Center at the heart of the old city of Bethlehem at few steps away from the church of the Nativity. Dar Al Majus offers a space for micro and small tourism businesses to present their products and items for tourists and visitors of the Centre. Participants visited the different premises of the Centre and had a discussion with the people working there about the challenges and opportunities in the tourism sector. The second stop was at Ma’an lil Hayat Boutique Hotel which’s a first hotel of its kind to be staffed by persons with and without intellectual disabilities and participants had the chance to discuss the social business opportunities in the field of the tourism.
In the next stage, the TIH team will evaluate the final ideas and select the best ones to join the incubation program.