Calling All Travel Entrepreneurs - Enter now for your chance to win $10,000!

2018 ASTA Entrepreneur of the Year Award

Sponsored by the Dan and Gloria Bohan Foundation

Why You Should Apply?

Does a $10,000 cash prize appeal to you or your business? How about free marketing for your company on stage at ASTA Global Convention 2018? Wouldn’t getting the opportunity to meet with travel executives and trade media be a fantastic way to promote your business?

Applying is Simple!

  1. Complete a simple online application with your and/or the nominee's contact information.
  2. Provide us with a brief description – 500 words or less – of your and/or the nominee's contribution to entrepreneurship in the industry and tell us how it relates to the benchmarks described in the evaluation criteria at the bottom of this page.
  3. Send us a short video – five minutes or less – describing your and/or the nominee's innovative product or service and its value. Upload the video to a file sharing site like YouTube, Vimeo or DropBox, and send us your link! Don’t have an account? Send your video directly to us at
  4. Confirm for us that if you and/or the nominee is one of the entrants selected as a finalist, you’ll participate in our “Shark Tank”- style session at ASTA Global Convention 2018 in Washington, DC taking place August 21-23, 2018!

What is This "Shark Tank" Style Competition?

We’re inviting three finalists to appear on stage at ASTA Global Convention 2018 to participate in a live, “Shark Tank” style competition, scheduled for Tuesday, August 23 at 9:00 a.m. You’ve seen the show! After a brief introduction of the participants by our moderator, Samantha Brown, each finalist will be given five minutes to make a pitch to our panel of travel experts and industry veteran judges. Following each presentation, our panel of esteemed judges will question the finalist regarding the strengths, weaknesses, and other aspects of the innovation, product, or concept. Selection of the Winner - Our judges will each cast a vote for one of the finalists. The live audience, acting as a “super judge,” will also cast one vote to determine the winner.
Thank you to many incredible entries. Nominations are now closed.
Please join us in August when the winner will be announced live.

The Fine Print - 2018 ASTA Entrepreneur of the Year Award

Entry Deadline

Applications must be received by ASTA no later than 5:00 p.m. EST on June 30, 2018. Incomplete applications, or applications received after the stated deadline, will not receive consideration. Click here to access the online nomination submission form. 

Selection of Finalists

A selection committee comprised of seasoned travel industry professionals jointly chosen by ASTA and the Foundation will review each complete submission that is received on or before the entry deadline. Applying the stated evaluation criteria, each committee member will then rank the submissions in order from highest to lowest. The persons or organizations submitting the entries receiving the highest, second highest, and third highest aggregate scores will be designated as finalists and invited to participate in the Entrepreneur of the Year session at AGC and compete for the prize. The non-finalist with the highest aggregate score will be designated as an alternate and will be invited to participate in the session in the event one of the finalists notifies us that he or she is unable to attend.


We’re accepting nominees from across the globe! All travel agents, agency managers, suppliers, and others in the travel and hospitality industry are eligible to receive the Award.

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. The benchmarks, in no particular order, are as follows:

  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?
  2. 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?
  3. 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.
  4. 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?
  5. 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.
  6. 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?
  7. Growth. Has the innovation had a positive impact on the company’s sales, profitability, or market share? Has the product or service spawned imitators?
  8. 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?


About the Award

The Entrepreneur of the Year Award was established by the Dan and Gloria Bohan Foundation to promote entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurial spirit in the travel and hospitality industry through recognition of innovators who have either established their own business or who have been responsible for significant entrepreneurial initiatives within an existing organization.

Each year, the Foundation, in conjunction with ASTA, selects one person or organization that best exemplifies this spirit of entrepreneurship to receive the Award and a $10,000 cash prize.