ASTA’s $10,000 Entrepreneur of the Year Award Opens for Entries

Entries are open now for ASTA's 2022 Entrepreneur of the Year Award. (image courtesy of ASTA)

American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) this week announced the opening of its entries for its Entrepreneur of the Year Award, which makes its return in 2022 following a two-year hiatus, due to the pandemic.

Visionary entrepreneurs—including travel advisors, agency owners, suppliers, technology start-ups, and others in the travel and hospitality industry—are eligible to submit their proposals for the opportunity to win $10,000 to put toward their endeavor.

Three lucky finalists will participate in a live, onstage competition for the cash prize at this year’s ASTA Global Convention in San Francisco, from August 24, 26, 2022. At that point, each finalist will be given three minutes in which to pitch their presentation to an audience of over 1,000 travel professionals, who will then cast their votes to determine the ultimate winner.

The Entrepreneur of the Year Award, sponsored by the Dan and Gloria Bohan Foundation, was first launched in 2015 and aims to promote a spirit of entrepreneurship within the industry by honoring innovators working in the travel and hospitality sector—those who have either started their own businesses or have pioneered significant initiatives within existing organizations.

Steps in the selection of 2022’s Award winner:

– Entrants will need to submit their application form by June 30 at 5:00 p.m. EST. Following that, five semi-finalists will be selected through an internal review, based on specific evaluation criteria.

– On July 27, the five semi-finalists will participate in a Facebook Live event, after which viewers will be called upon to select the top three.

– Finally, on August 26, at the ASTA Global Convention, the top three finalists will compete live on stage in front of an audience of travel professionals, who will then vote for the winner.

Nominees for the Award will be evaluated by ASTA staff and membership based on eight specific benchmark criteria, which touch upon various aspects of the successful candidate’s innovative approach to the future of the business. These include sustainability, evolution, experiential travel, proven impact, curation, marketing, growth and technology.

Individuals or organizations wishing to apply for consideration for the Award must submit a few components for entry:

— A completed online application form, detailing the nominee’s name and/or company name and contact information.

— A narrative statement, 500 words of less, describing the nominee’s contribution to entrepreneurship in the travel and hospitality industry, and illustrating how it fulfills the above-described benchmarks.

— A video (five minutes or less in length), which describes and/or demonstrates the innovative product or service being submitted for consideration, and explains its value as measured against the benchmarks. The video must be uploaded to a file-sharing site, such as YouTube, Vimeo or DropBox, and only the link needs to be submitted.

— Certification that, if selected as one of five semi-finalists, the nominee will participate in an ASTA Facebook Live event, to be held on July 27, 2022.

— Further certification that, if selected as one of the three finalists, the nominee will participate in the Entrepreneur of the Year session at the ASTA Global Convention in San Francisco, California, August 24-26, 2022 (session date and time TBD).

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