UNWTO’s 2024 Global Startup Competition in Gastronomy Tourism

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Applications are currently being accepted for the 2024 UNWTO Global Gastronomy Tourism Startup Competition.

Building on previous editions’ accomplishments, the UNWTO and Basque Culinary Center are launching the fourth Global Competition for Gastronomy Tourism Startups. The objective is to identify initiatives and challenges that will spark ideas that have the potential to revolutionize the gastronomy tourism industry in the near future.

Gastronomy tourism encourages entrepreneurship and the establishment of new ventures and organizations that inevitably influence other industries in various ways, promoting values such as:

  • Sustainability is achieved by maintaining a balance between economic development and gastronomic culture and heritage.
  • Quality initiatives, spanning from production to experience, across the entire tourism value chain.
  • Authentic communication and consistent storytelling of gastronomic offerings, involving all stakeholders in the sector, from chefs to the media.
  • Collaboration among all stakeholders along the gastronomic and tourism value chain.
  • Authenticity, emphasizing cultural heritage, local products, and cultural values.
  • Gastronomic tourism as a catalyst for creativity, innovation, and sustainable growth, where startups with groundbreaking and inclusive visions can propose new future scenarios that positively impact various sectors, contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.


New Technologies

Startups that are creating and advocating inventive solutions or services with a substantial technological aspect linked to the Gastronomic Tourism sector..

Local Impact

Startups developing and promoting projects with a strong emphasis on transformation and social betterment in their area of operation, closely aligned with the Gastronomic Tourism sector.

Sustainability and Waste Management

Startups engaged in the development and promotion of projects with a strong focus on sustainability and/or food waste management, particularly related to the impact generated by tourists.


  • Relevance to the Gastronomy Tourism Sector
  • Innovation: Level of disruptive innovation within the sector (at a global scale); no specific technological component required.
  • Social Impact of the Startup: Targeting unmet social needs across various domains, aiming to enhance the employability of young and/or vulnerable individuals, counteract depopulation of regions, address population aging, promote gender equality, with measurable outcomes.
  • Market Traction: Ability to effect change in localized environments; capacity to bring about societal transformation, enhancing social conditions for beneficiary groups and/or fostering their recognition within society.
  • Proven MVP: Demonstrated prototype of product or service, with tested and measured results. Prospective business influence: scalability, financial gains, and/or cultivation of competitive edges in the near to medium future.
  • Facilitated Value Capture through Collaboration: Readiness for swift implementation in the short to medium term, for co-development of products/services, optimizing resource/infrastructure utilization, and scalability of the product.
  • Dedicated Team: Team possessing explicit expertise in the field of operation; positive evaluation of support from a public or private organization in project execution.
  • Alignment with Sustainable Development Goals: Establishing links and tangible social impact metrics in alignment with priority SDGs.


  • Mentorship from UNWTO and esteemed partners
  • Tailored support for your startup
  • Investment prospects
  • Inclusion in the UNWTO Innovation Network
  • Opportunities for scholarships offered by the Tourism Online Academy
  • Possibility to showcase your business at the 8th UNWTO Gastronomy Tourism Forum in October 2023 in San Sebastián, Spain.
  • Utilization of space at the LABe- Digital Gastronomy Lab facilities for 6 months
  • Participation as a finalist company in the corresponding edition of Culinary Action!
  • On the Road, the premier foodtech startup competition in roadshow format
  • Advanced access to the GOe Digital Community for 6 months, the inaugural digital community within the comprehensive gastronomy sector.

For Further Details:

Application Deadline: June 6, 2024

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