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 continuous growth in the last decade, tourism generates approximately one in 10 jobs, and accounts for 10.2% 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.
20 selected Start-ups will be shortlisted by a panel of international experts and stakeholders from the gastronomy tourism sector (public and private sector, academia, and civil society)
Validate and test
The 5 finalist startups will have a sponsored trip to pitch their idea to a panel of experts, governments, industry leaders and international investors who will attend the 5th edition of the World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism be held in Spain on 2-3 May 2019.
Pitch and connect
The winning company will have the possibility to make its mark on the international stage and increase the impact of its startup with the help of BCC experts with a customized mentoring programme and the possibility of participating in the business accelerator Culinary Action!
Accelerate and incubate
The winning company will have the opportunity to design a pilot project with the Basque Culinary Center and implement it with the help of its network.
Implement an international pilot project
How do we evaluate projects?
The projects must be aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations and the introduction or adaptation of digital and technological elements, and focused on one (or several) of the following areas:
Destination management or private management of solutions/products/services developed around gastronomy as gastronomic tourism products
Supply-side configuration seeking balance between sustainable development and the profitability of the project, maximizing the positive impacts on the community.
Connection with the market and the user experience in all phases of the trip.
The integration of sustainability in the project´s business plan, specifically the conservation of local ingredients and the relationship between culture, heritage, gastronomy, tourism and economic growth
The projects will be evaluated on the following criteria:
Innovation and disruptiveness
We are looking for startups with a project/product/service proposal that will disrupt the sector by introducing new concepts not yet identified in the gastronomic tourism industry
Potential impact and scalability
We are looking for startups with a sound business model that has the potential for scalability in another environment/market/region making it feasible to increase and grow its social, technological and economic impact.
Initially validated or tested business model
We are looking for startups in growth or seed stages that have tested their idea and have an Minimum Viable Product (MVP) tested in a real market.
Suitable and committed team
We are looking for startups that have an entrepreneurial team suited to the needs and characteristics of the project, with high motivation, interest and commitment to its development.
We are looking for startups that have experience in the co-development of products/services and interest in accessing collaborations with partners in the sector.
Sustainability in the value proposition
We are looking for startups that integrate sustainability into the business model of the project, taking special care of the relationship between culture, heritage, gastronomy, tourism and economic growth.
Technological or digital component
We are looking for startups in which a technological or digital component is embedded in the business model.
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. As the leading international organization in the field of tourism, UNWTO promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability and offers leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies worldwide.
BCC is a pioneering global academic institution that comprises the Faculty of Gastronomic Sciences attached to Mondragon University and a Center for Innovation and Research. The aim of the BCC is higher education, research, innovation and promotion of gastronomy and food and it is working to promote gastronomy as a lever for socio-economic development through its actions.