Vang Vieng, Lao PDR

2019 Mekong MIST finalists named

The Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office announced, Tuesday, the names of the 10 startup firms that will compete in the Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism (MIST) competition 9 October.

This year, MIST will be held in Bangkok alongside a new event the Travel Startups Asia Forum. MIST finalists represent two categories: Travel tech ventures and social impact enterprises.

MIST finalists

  Travel Tech Ventures Social Impact Enterprises
Cambodia Ticket 2 Asia Rotanak
Lao PDR Loca
Buffalo Dairy
Myanmar Get Ride Living Irrawaddy Dolphins
Thailand Golf Digg Find Folk
Viet Nam Go Eat Me Spa Noir

Now in its third year with hundreds of alumni, MIST is jointly managed by the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office and Mekong Business Initiative (MBI).  MBI and MIST are supported by the Australian Government and the Asian Development Bank. This year, the Tourism Authority of Thailand and the Pacific Asia Travel Association are also supporting the programme.

MIST was set up to help travel startups the Greater Mekong Subregion to gain a foothold and thrive in the globally competitive tourism industry.

MBI and ADB Ventures head, Dominic Mellor said: “As one of the first travel startup programmes created by a regional tourism board, MIST has attracted nearly 500 applications and generated millions of social shares in the first three years. It has elevated the status and prestige of tourism entrepreneurship across the region.”

The Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office executive director Jens Thraenhart added: “Recognising both travel tech ventures and social impact enterprises, MIST is well-positioned to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals, encourage inclusive and responsible tourism development, and promote gender equity in the Mekong Region.”

On 8 October, MIST finalists are invited to the Pacific Asia Travel Association headquarters to network with tourism industry leaders, potential investors, and mentors.

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