Vang Vieng, Lao PDR

Demisting MIST for travel startups

Startup travel firms stand a chance to win recognition and a helping hand to connect with potential funding as the Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism programme, MIST calls for nominations

Travel industry executives can recommend travel startups, either in the travel tech or social enterprise domains.

The nominations are open to innovative ventures, inspire others with their approach to tourism, creating profits while maximizing benefits to society and the environment.

The deadline for nominations closes 1800 (BKG time) on 9 September at

Now in its third year, MIST is managed by the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office a partner in the project with the Mekong Business. Funding comes from the Asian Development Bank and the Australian government.

MIST’s simple mission is to support travel startups from the six-member countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion (Cambodia, China Laos, Myanmar Thailand and Vietnam).

Since its launch, MIST has attracted nearly 500 applications and millions of social shares in the first three years.

The 2019 MIST Showcase, integrated with the Travel Startups Asia Forum, features the final pitches in the competition that fields 10 startups from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The 2019 MIST Workshop, open for 10 MIST finalists and MIST advisors, will be hosted at the PATA HQ Office on 8 October, in Bangkok to fine-tune the presentations with input from industry experts.

The 2019 MIST Showcase and Travel Startups Asia Forum will be at Quaint in Bangkok on 9 October and is open to travel companies and investors interested in connecting with travel startups in the Greater Mekong Subregion.

MIST 2019

Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism (MIST) is a two-day conference for the Greater Mekong Subregion’s top tourism, transportation, and hospitality startups, hosted in Bangkok.

Day 1, 8 October at PATA HQ in Bangkok), startups have an opportunity to get advice on their pitches from mentors and will attend workshops. (invitation-only).

Day 2, 9 October at Quaint Restaurant Bangkok), startups will present to investors, industry leaders, and media in the morning. In the afternoon, the half-day Travel Startups Asia Forum will feature sessions on entrepreneurship and innovation in the travel and tourism industry in Southeast Asia.

The event will finish with a networking reception. This event is open to investors, startups, travel and tourism executives, government, media, and academics.

Event is free, but attendees need to register on as space is limited.

What kind of startups can participate in MIST?

1 Technology Startups: Eligible startups include technology-enabled business models in tourism, transportation, and hospitality. Startups must be operationally based in the region, participate in the region’s travel industry, and have at least one co-founder from the region.

2 Social Enterprises: Eligible startups include enterprises in tourism, transportation, and hospitality that somehow make a contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Three-way benefits

1 Access to finance: Startups will receive introductions to prominent regional investors specializing in travel startups, as well as grant funders.

2 Industry connections: Startups will network with prominent executives from large tourism, transportation, and hospitality companies across the region.

3 Visibility: Startups and their accelerator partners will receive media exposure for the work they are doing to enhance the Greater Mekong Subregion’s travel industry. For More information on www.Mist.Asia and

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