4th Global Gastronomy Tourism Startup Competition
UN Tourism
Basque Culinary center

4th Global Gastronomy Tourism
Startup Competition



Byfood | Japan
Local Food | Bulgaria
2492IOneArmenia | Armenia
Tenemos Filo | Colombia
Beyondnext | Republic of Korea
Soplaya | Italy


Foodality, a Travelgram brand | Greece
TourMega | United States of America
Grow: The Food Lab| The Bahamas
Teikei | Spain
Maker Landing | South Africa
DineNTalk | Netherlands

Accelerating gastronomy tourism initiatives to achieve the SDGs


The Competition

Transforming Gastronomy Tourism through Innovation.

Following the success of previous editions, UN Tourismin collaboration with Basque Culinary Center launch the 4TH Global Competition for Gastronomy Tourism Startups. Our Mission is to identify challenges and projects, and catalyzing innovations that can transform the Gastronomy Tourism sector in the near future.


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

With a 3,3% growth in the last decade, tourism generates approximately one in 10 jobs, and accounts for 10% of world GDP. At its intersection with the gastronomy sector, food tourism or culinary tourism, it is organized around experiential trips and assumes as part of its essence ethical and sustainable values related to the territory, heritage, local culture, local products, authenticity, tradition or culinary techniques at the local, regional or national level.

The undoubted influence of gastronomy in travel and the growing demand for gastronomic tourism have made this area one of the segments with the greatest development opportunities attracting growing interest on the part of governments. Food tourism has become one of the most dynamic and creative segments of tourism and, at the same time, has naturally positioned itself as an element of diversification of tourism with a high impact on the promotion of sustainable development at the regional and local levels.

Gastronomy 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 and gastronomic culture and heritage
  • The quality of initiatives from production to experience, along the entire tourism value chain
  • Authentic communication and a coherent narrative of gastronomic offerings with the participation of all the stakeholders of the sector; from chefs to the media
  • Cooperation among all actors throughout the entire value chain of the gastronomic and tourism sector
  • Authenticity by highlighting cultural heritage, local products and cultural values
  • Gastronomic 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.


New Technologies

Startups that are developing and promoting a startup with a high technological component to provide solutions or new services related to the Gastronomic Tourism sector.

Local Impact

Startups that are developing and promoting a project with a high component of transformation and social improvement in its area of implementation and that are attached to the Gastronomic Tourism sector.

More responsible
Sustainability and Waste

Startups that are developing and promoting a project with a high component of sustainability and/or food waste management related to the impact generated by tourists,  including prevention, redistribution and valorization through circular processes.


  •  Mentoring by UN Tourism and top partners
  •  Tailored support for your startup
  •  Investment opportunities
  •  Form part of the UN Tourism Innovation Network
  •  Scholarship opportunities for the Tourism Online Academy
  •  Use of a space in the LABe- Digital Gastronomy Lab facilities for 6 months.
  •  Participate as a finalist company in the corresponding edition of Culinary Action! - On the road, the first foodtech startup competition in roadshow format.
  •  Advanced Plan of the GOe Digital Community for 6 months, which is the first digital community within the 360º gastronomy sector.

*more details can be found in the Terms of Reference here.


Lanzamiento del Reto

6 October 2023


Fecha límite de postulación

6 September 2024

Deadline for applications


Fall 2024

Announcement of finalist startups on webpage

Anuncio de proyectos ganadores

Fall 2024

Announcement of winners and pitch session


  • Scope into the Gastronomy Tourism Sector
  • Innovation: Degree of comparative disruptiveness / innovation in the sector (global level); not technological component required.
  • Social Impact of the Start-up: Focused on meeting unmet social needs in different realms, to foster employability of young and/or vulnerable people, depopulation of the territory, population aging and/or gender equality; and with tangible indicators to that effect.
  • Traction: Capacity to transform the localized environment; ability to generate a change in society, improving the social conditions of the beneficiary groups and / or promoting their recognition before society.
  • A tested MVP: product or service prototype, tested and tested, with already measured or measurable results. Potential impact of the business: potential scalability/financial return and/or development of competitive advantages for the business in the short-medium term.
  • Ease of value capture via collaboration with the Start-up: agile implementation in the short-medium term for co-development of products/services, optimizing the use of existing resources/infrastructure and ability to scale the product.
  • Committed team. Team with explicit knowledge about the area of action; positive assessment of the endorsement of a public or private organization on the execution of the project
  • Adherence to the Sustainable Development Goals: Linking and tangible social impact metrics in relation to the priority SDG.



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