ADB supports Vietnamese innovative startups for Mekong tourism development

Thursday, 2018-06-28 16:30:30
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Mekong tourism has proven its attractiveness to innovators.
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NDO – Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism (MIST), an initiative supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Australian Government, has announced its support for ten innovative travel and hospitality companies in 2018.

The two-year-old innovation programme aims to identify and support high-growth travel and hospitality businesses that have the potential to make a positive contribution to local communities, economies, and the environment.

Under the MIST Startup Accelerator, five local entrepreneurs from Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam have been selected to provide the business fundamentals to early-stage travel and hospitality start-ups, while connecting them with industry and investors.

Three Vietnamese projects include Ecohost, targeting improvements in the local homestay management; Go Explore, organising “workation” programs aimed at international and domestic remote workers; and VDEs, connecting event planners with event venues and making them bookable through their database.

In addition, five other international travel and hospitality innovators have been selected to join the MIST Market Access Programme to solve tourism and hospitality industry challenges in the Greater Mekong Subregion. The programme helps innovators clear the obstacles to market entry, form local partnerships, and secure financing for proof-of-concept pilot projects.

More than 350 applications from all over the world have been sent to the MIST, demonstrating the Greater Mekong Subregion’s dynamism as a destination and its attractiveness to innovators, said Dominic Mellor, senior investment advisor for the ADB.

The MIST is jointly supported by the ADB, Australian Government, and six-government Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office.