The Mekong Innovations in Sustainable Tourism (formerly Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism) (MIST) program was launched by the Asian Development Bank and the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office, operated by Destination Mekong. It is the Greater Mekong Subregion’s first travel startup program. Launched in 2017, it was set up to help integrate GMS travel startups into the global travel and tourism ecosystem, promote innovation, and support local firms thrive in the globally competitive tourism industry.
In consultation with the six member governments of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) and its partner the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has decided to evolve the 4-year old trail-blazing initiative. Originally limited to only startups in the two categories of travel tech and travel social enterprises, the evolved MIST program will focus on innovations in sustainable tourism in the Greater Mekong Subregion, open to any business entity, from startups to established corporates, from NGOs to governments, and from individuals to partnerships.
For this new chapter of MIST, it was decided to bring onboard the Swiss-based Ecosystem builder Seedstars to support the tourism industry growth, create an ecosystem that inspires innovation, and promotes sustainability and resilience in tourism.
ABOUT THE MEKONG TOURISM COORDINATING OFFICE
The Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO), located in Bangkok, was set up with funding from the governments of the six Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) countries – Cambodia, the People’s Republic of China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam. The MTCO, which operates on annual financial contributions from each GMS country, acts as the secretariat for the GMS Tourism Working Group, comprising of senior officials of the six GMS countries’ National Tourism Organizations. Its role is to coordinate and facilitate sustainable tourism development of the GMS in line with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, and promotion of the Mekong region as a single travel and tourism destination, in collaboration with the public and private sectors. The MTCO manages its award-winning MekongTourism.org digital platform as a one-stop platform to promote responsible and sustainable tourism in the region, as well as the annual Mekong Tourism Forum, whose hosting is rotated among GMS countries.
Please visit www.MekongTourism.org for more information.
Download the Mekong Tourism Overview Booklet.
ABOUT DESTINATION MEKONG
Destination Mekong was created in 2017 to promote the Mekong region, comprising of Cambodia, PR China (Provinces of Guangxi and Yunnan), Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam as a single destination to stimulate responsible and sustainable development and investment and drive inclusive growth. We are a public-private partnership framework to initiate and operate regional projects that build capacity and foster healthy and sustainable communities in the Greater Mekong Subregion.
Please visit www.DestinationMekong.com for more information.
Seedstars is a Swiss-based private group of companies with a mission to impact people’s lives in emerging markets through technology and entrepreneurship.
Pierre-Alain Masson and Alisée de Tonnac set off on a journey around the world to establish the Seedstars World competition and activate up-and-coming areas. In one year, they managed to launch events in 20 cities.
We organized 82 events in 74 ecosystems, opened the 7th hub Seedspace, and our portfolio consists of 25 seed-stage ventures.
Seedstars is present in 80+ emerging ecosystems. More than 100,000 people from all over the world belong to the Seedtars network, including 2,000 investors. More than 40,000 entrepreneurs from emerging markets became participants of our events and programs. The alumni network of the Seedstars World competition counts for 275 startups. We know that 85% of the companies still exist; they have created over 2,500 direct jobs and fundraised over USD 250,000,000. The follow-on funding rate of startups that we accelerated is over 40% which is as high as TechStars or YCombinator achieve.
Please visit Seedstars World for more information.