ByFood Wins the 3rd UNWTO Gastronomy Tourism Startup Competition

By Katie Thompson
Updated: February 2, 2023

On Tuesday, Dec 13, the 7th UNWTO Forum on Gastronomy Tourism recognized companies from across the world for their contribution to sustainable tourism. Organized by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Basque Culinary Center, the annual Forum aims to advance sustainable gastronomy tourism. 

Woman stands at podium

The Forum was hosted in Nara, Japan. During the two-day event, more than 450 delegates from 30 countries were in attendance, along with over 1,000 online participants from 125 countries. 

The 3rd UNWTO Global Gastronomy Startup Competition

The 3rd UNWTO Global Gastronomy Startup Competition was also hosted in Nara. Six entrepreneurs presented their solutions for sustainable tourism in line with Sustainable Development Goals. The six nominated companies included from Japan, Local Food from Bulgaria, 24921OneArmenia from Armenia, Tenemos Filo from Colombia, Beyondnext from South Korea, and Soplaya from Italy. 

UNWTO nominees lined up on stage

ByFood Wins the 3rd UNWTO Global Gastronomy Startup Competition was chosen as the winner of the 3rd UNWTO Global Gastronomy Startup Competition. ByFood COO Serkan Toso accepted the award:

“Thank you for giving us such a valuable award. Thank you to everyone involved in byFood, the whole team is grateful to be recognized. 

Serkan Toso speaks at the 3rd UNWTO Global Gastronomy Startup Competition

After two and a half years of dealing with the global pandemic, Japan has finally started accepting tourists from overseas again. Japanese food and culture attract attention from all over the world, so we are doing our best to promote sustainable tourism to support efforts against over-tourism and rural revitalization. 

ByFood will continue to contribute to rural revitalization and our social program, Food for Happiness, to share the joy of food with children all over the world” 

Serkan Toso aceppting the winning award at the 3rd UNWTO Global Gastronomy Startup Competition

We strive to be as accurate as possible and keep up with the changing landscape of Japan's food and travel industries. If you spot any inaccuracies, please send a report.
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Katie Thompson
Katie is a Tokyo-based, lifelong nomad whose love language is food. Blessed (and sometimes cursed) with a discerning palate, she’s on a constant journey to find the best flavors the world has to offer.
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