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Now Accepting Applications for the Entrepreneur of the Year Competition in San Francisco

$10,000 Prize Winner Selected at the ASTA Global Convention, August 24-26

Alexandria, VA – The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) is excited to announce that the Entrepreneur of the Year competition is back, and applications are now open.

The Entrepreneur of the Year Award was established in 2015 by the Dan and Gloria Bohan Foundation to promote the entrepreneurial spirit in the travel and hospitality industry through recognition of innovators who have either established their own businesses or who have been responsible for significant entrepreneurial initiatives within an existing organization. Each year, the Foundation, in conjunction with ASTA staff and membership, selects one person or organization that best exemplifies this spirit of entrepreneurship to receive the Award and a $10,000 cash prize. After a two-year hiatus, the Entrepreneur of the Year Award is back for 2022.

This is a great opportunity for travel advisors, agency owners, travel technology start-ups, travel suppliers, and more! Three lucky finalists will appear on center stage at ASTA Global Convention in San Francisco, California, August 24-26, 2022, to participate in a LIVE competition for a $10,000 cash prize. Each finalist will have three minutes to make a pitch to the audience. Over a thousand travel professionals will be watching the presentations and will cast their vote to determine the winner.

Evaluation Criteria

Nominees for the Award will be evaluated based on consideration of eight benchmarks demonstrating various aspects of the successful candidate’s innovative and entrepreneurial approach to the business and its future.


  1. Sustainability.  How many years has the nominee been active in the travel industry? How many consumers or companies use the nominee’s innovative product or service?


  1. Evolution.  How has the nominee or the nominee’s company adapted to change in the industry or market, and to changes in technology? Why was this important and how was it accomplished? What steps are taken to ensure that the product or service remains relevant?


  1. Experiential Travel. Does the nominee’s product or service have an experiential fit, focus or component connecting the experience to history, people or culture? Describe and explain its importance in today’s world and for the future of travel.


  1. Proven Impact. How has the product or service already had a demonstrable impact on travelers and the industry as a whole? Why will the innovation continue to impact travelers in the future?


  1. Curation.  Does the nominee envision himself or herself as a travel curator, one who makes travel more meaningful for the traveler? If so, please tell us and explain why this is important to the nominee.


  1. Marketing.  Describe how the nominee markets or merchandises its company and its products or services. How does the nominee differentiate itself from others in the industry? Has social media factored into the marketing focus?


  1. Growth.  Has the innovation had a positive impact on the company’s sales, profitability, or market share? Has the product or service spawned imitators?


  1. Technology.  Describe the technology behind the product or service. For example, does the solution include the use of mobile apps or similar recent innovations? How has product usability been a factor?


Entries will be accepted online until June 30, 2022.


Selection of Semi-Finalists

A selection committee comprised of seasoned travel industry professionals jointly chosen by ASTA and the Gloria Bohan Foundation will review each complete submission that is received on or before the entry deadline of June 30th. Applying the stated evaluation criteria, each committee member will then rank the submissions in order from highest to lowest. Entrants receiving one of the five highest aggregate scores will be named as semi-finalists and invited to participate in the Facebook Live event.

Selection of Finalists

Each of the five semi-finalists will have an opportunity to showcase their innovation by making their presentation via an ASTA member-only Facebook Live event on July 27. Following presentations by each semi-finalist, the participating members will then cast their vote for the candidate that they believe best exemplifies the spirit of entrepreneurship in travel.

The candidates receiving the highest, second highest, and third highest number of votes will be designated as finalists and move on to the Entrepreneur of the Year session at AGC to compete for the $10,000 prize. The non-finalist with the greatest number of votes will be designated as an alternate and will be invited to participate at AGC should one of the three finalists be unable to attend.  


To apply for the Entrepreneur of the Year competition for a chance to win $10,000, apply by June 30, 2022



Rebranded in 2018 as the American Society of Travel Advisors, ASTA is the leading global advocate for travel advisors, the travel industry and the traveling public. Its members represent 80 percent of all travel sold in the United States through the travel agency distribution channel. Together with hundreds of internationally-based members, ASTA’s history of industry advocacy traces back to its founding in 1931 when it launched with the mission to facilitate the business of selling travel through effective representation, shared knowledge and the enhancement of professionalism. For more information about the Society, visit our mission statement.  




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