Puerto Rican entrepreneur Paul González-Mangual, founder of gastronomic tourism agency FOODIEcations, has been selected among the finalists of this year’s 2nd edition of the World Tourism Organization UNWTO Gastronomy Tourism Startup competition.
The event is co-sponsored by the Basque Culinary Center — an academic institution that aims at higher education, research, innovation, and promotion of gastronomy — to create the competition and identify innovative projects that transform the sector of the gastronomic tourism locally and internationally.
“Being part of the finalists of this prestigious global competition is not only an honor for FOODIEcations, but it also makes visible the potential of the gastronomic tourism industry in the [island] where I was born, Puerto Rico,” said González, who a year ago founded his business with the idea that foodies who travel to eat and live to eat get to experience the location’s culture through its gastronomy.
The UNWTO is responsible for promoting responsible, sustainable, and accessible tourism. The joint effort with the Basque Culinary Center seeks to generate a stimulus to creativity, innovation, and sustainable growth.
With disruptive and open visions, startups can propose new scenarios that positively and transversally impact various sectors, collaborating, and contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
“Traveling to eat has become a lifestyle for new generations. That is why FOODIEcations offers a range of resources and tools, under a holistic economic model, to promote companies’ local development and help diners experience the culture of a city or country through its gastronomy. Currently, the company has four gastronomic guides, apps, interactive maps, and a robust online platform,” said González.
The final round of the 2nd UNWTO Gastronomy Tourism Startup Competition — in which five finalists of the 250 who applied will participate — will take place Oct. 21, 2020, through the YouTube platform at 10 a.m. local time.
Among the other four finalist companies that will be presenting are: Cookly (Thailand), Foodieon (Korea), UpperEat (Denmark / Spain), and Eatour (Italy).