Vang Vieng, Lao PDR

MTCO Prepares MIST 2019 (Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism)

The 2019 edition of MIST (Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism Program), an exclusive two-day conference for top startups from the Greater Mekong Sub-region, will take place on October 8 and 9 in Bangkok. 

The third edition of MIST will take place on October 8 and 9, 2019 in Bangkok. The first day on October 8 will be hosted at PATA Headquarters on October 8 while the second day on October 9 at Quaint Restaurant. The event is cohosted by the Mekong Business Initiative and the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office with the support from the Asian Development Bank and the Australian Embassy.

“Since its inception in 2017, MIST has gone from success to success, establishing itself into a major platform to promote and put together players from the travel industry and young entrepreneurs,” says Jens Thraenhart, Executive Director for the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO).

“The event is acknowledged as an important contribution to sustainable tourism development, inclusive growth, and gender equality,” he adds.

The mission of MIST is to support and integrate travel startups from the six member countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion into the travel and tourism ecosystem to ensure Innovation in a globally competitive tourism industry.

The event welcomes only companies registered and operating in the six GMS countries- Cambodia, China PRC (Guangxi and Yunnan), Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. Any startup which is likely to bring a new experience to travellers but also bring technology innovation and a positive impact on society or the environment can apply to be nominated. Since its start, MIST already managed to attract nearly 500 applications and millions of social shares.

The 2019 MIST Showcase integrated with the Travel Startups Asia Forum, features the final pitching competition of the ten startups from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam, as well as startup stories from past MIST alumni. The 2019 MIST Workshop is open exclusively for MIST finalists and MIST advisors while the 2019 MIST Showcase and Travel Startups Asia Forum will be in Bangkok on October 9. Conceived as a networking and forum event, it is open to travel companies, investors and media interested in connecting with travel startups in the Greater Mekong Subregion. In the afternoon of October 9, In the afternoon, the Travel Startups Asia Forum will feature engaging sessions on entrepreneurship and innovation in the travel and tourism industry in Southeast Asia.

About MIST Targets and Benefits

MIST 2019 welcomes two categories of startups:

1.     Innovative 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. Maturity: post-revenue, pre-seed.

2.     Social Enterprises: Eligible startups include innovative enterprises in tourism, transportation, and hospitality that somehow contribute towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Maturity: post-revenue.

How will startups benefit from MIST 2019? MIST supports startups in 3 ways:

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

Information about the event is available under

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