|The Mekong Innovative Startup Tourism (MIST) announced two incubation programmes to support innovative tourism firms in Việt Nam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. — Photo baoquocte.vn|Viet Nam News
The Mekong Innovative Startup Tourism (MIST) on Thursday announced two incubation programmes to support innovative tourism firms in Việt Nam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.
The tourism startup incubator programme will accept business ideas in tourism technology forms as well as traditional models of startup businesses in the first stage.
Representatives of selected startup projects will attend a camp where they can develop their business ideas. The best projects from each country will receive MIST awards worth US$7,000-$10,000.
Meanwhile, the market access incubator programme is a chance for larger travel firms, which are in need of support, to access the regional market. Selected project owners will join a fact-finding tour to Mekong River countries to study the market, while being introduced to service providing networks of relevant agencies.
Last year, Việt Nam welcomed more than 10 million foreign visitors. However, Huỳnh Kim Tước, executive director of the Saigon Innovation Hub, noted that Việt Nam’s tourism products remain poor, and hence should be reformed and diversified to attract more tourists.
He also underlined the significance of regional connectivity in boosting tourism growth, while suggesting the promotion of Vietnamese tourism and the preservation of the sector’s unique characteristics.
According to the organising board, the two programmes will receive applications until March 27, 2017. The project owners will have a chance to present their ideas in front of investors, incubators and tourism leaders at the Mekong Tourism Forum in June 2017 in Laos and the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in November in Việt Nam.
The MIST is a joint initiative of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office and the Mekong Business Initiative. — VNS