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UNWTO Seeking Disruptive Ideas for 2nd Gastronomy Tourism Startup Competition

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Basque Culinary Center have joined forces for the second edition of the Global Gastronomy Tourism Startup Competition.

After the success of the first edition, the competition has returned to identify and celebrate disruptive ideas and innovators who will lead the transformation of the sector as well as those who are making a positive impact in their local communities.

In 2019, over 300 initiatives from 84 countries were submitted. Projects ranged from new technologies, community-based tourism development initiatives, innovation software and startups focused on innovation-driven agricultural sustainability.

According to the UNWTO, all of them help contribute to the advancement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

2nd competition

Photo Source: UNWTO

For the second edition and with the support of the TUI Care Foundation, there will be two categories up for prizes, the UNWTO has announced.

The first category will identify the initiative that is innovative and has a sustainable social impact. The winning project will receive expert support from the Basque Culinary Center (the “Culinary Action!” initiative) and UNWTO.

Furthermore, the project will be showcased at the 6th UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy to take place in Bruges, Belgium, from 1 to 4 June.

The second category will recognize the most disruptive gastronomy tourism startup overall. The winning company will design a pilot project alongside Basque Culinary Center and implement it with the help of its network. It will also receive economic support to cover the expenses of the acceleration process with “Culinary Action!”, as well as accommodation and travel, for up to 3,000 euros.

Photo Source: UNWTO

“Gastronomy continues to prove its potential as a vital opportunity to enrich the tourism offer and stimulate economic development in destinations all around the world… With this competition we are identifying key companies which will shape the future for food and travel,” said UNWTO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili.

The call for proposals will close on April 6. For more information visit

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