MIST supports 10 travel companies

July 05, 2018 - 09:00

Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism (MIST) will support 10 innovative travel and hospitality companies in 2018.

Innovations: Innovative travel and hospitality companies attend an information session at the Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism (MIST) business support programme. — Photo mist.asia
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY — Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism (MIST) will support 10 innovative travel and hospitality companies in 2018.

The programme, launched in 2016, is supported by the Asian Development Bank, Australian Government and six-government Mekong Tourism Co-ordinating Office.

MIST aims to identify and support high-growth travel and hospitality businesses that have the potential to contribute to local communities, economies and the environment.

It features a Startup Accelerator and the Market Access Programme.

The former teaches business fundamentals to early-stage travel and hospitality start-ups while connecting them with the industry and investors, and has chosen five entrepreneurs from Cambodia, Laos and Việt Nam -- BambooLao, Ecohost, Go Explore, Sidesbag, and VDEs.

The finalists are attending the Mekong Tourism Forum to showcase their solutions and explore industry partnerships.

They will come together again in October at ITB Asia in Singapore to pitch to investors and compete for innovation grants of up to US$10,000.

The Market Access Programme invites innovators from around the world to resolve tourism and hospitality industry challenges in the Greater Mekong Sub-region.

It helps innovators clear market entry obstacles, form local partnerships, and secure financing for proof-of-concept pilots.

It has chosen five international travel and hospitality innovators: Adventoro, DidaTravel Technology, hereO, Moneybay, and Monkey Theory.

“There is no doubt that technology is rapidly transforming travel,” Jens Thraenhart, executive director of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office, said.

“The trick is to harness and accelerate innovative business models that also positively transform lives, communities, and the natural environment.”

Dominic Mellor, senior investment advisor at the ADB, said: “MIST has received more than 350 applications from all over the world, demonstrating the Greater Mekong Sub-region’s dynamism as a destination and its attractiveness to innovators.” — VNS


Startup Accelerator finalists:

BambooLao (Laos) produces reusable bamboo straws to replace single-use plastic straws.

Ecohost (Việt Nam) improves the local homestay experience, improving the management of homestays and local activities while making them easier to book.

Go Explore (Việt Nam) organises “workation” programmes aimed at international and domestic workers.

Sidesbag (Cambodia) is a mobile application enabling airline passengers to purchase available luggage allowance from fellow travellers.

VDEs (Việt Nam) connects event planners with event venues and enables booking through its database.

Market Access programme finalists:

Adventoro offers bucket list-worthy activities including whitewater rafting, jungle treks, and diving excursions. Currently serving Malaysia, Adventoro will use the MIST Market Access Programme to enter Việt Nam.

DidaTravel Technology, based in China, offers backend technology for hotel booking, providing real-time inventories and rates.

hereO, creator of the heroO GPS watch for kids, offers plug-and-play IoT technology. It is considering IoT solutions for last-mile tourist transportation in the Greater Mekong Sub-region.

Moneybay provides a digital cross-border currency exchange platform. The Malaysian fintech makes it simple for tourists to make payments online and collect currency from local partners.

Monkey Theory creates fun and happy experiences with branded sporting events, encouraging public health and social activity.