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Five startups in finals of nursery program

Released at: 11:11, 11/05/2017

Five startups in finals of nursery program

Source: mist.asia

Local startups to pitch ideas to investors at Mekong Tourism Forum on June 6 in Laos.

by Quynh Nguyen

Five Vietnamese travel startups have qualified to pitch their business plans to investors at the Mekong Tourism Forum on June 6 in Luang Prabang, Laos, under the Mekong Innovative Startup Tourism (MIST) program, according to an announcement from the Asian Development Bank (ADB). 

Industry experts selected a total of 12 startups from more than 250 applications spanning travel technology solutions, traditional tourism products, hospitality projects, and social enterprises. All 12 attended a three-day training and evaluation program on May 5-7 in Siem Reap, Cambodia, where they were mentored by experts from Amadeus Next, the ADB, Buffalo Tours (TMG), Clickable Vietnam, Entrepid Advisors, Gobi Ventures, the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO), and Triip.me ‎.

MIST co-creator Mr. Jens Thraenhart, Executive Director of MTCO, said that it is critical in today’s competitive and fast changing travel and tourism landscape to integrate innovation and startups into tourism development planning.

MTCO is currently the only regional tourism organization that incorporates startups into its tourism strategy development process.

“In addition to conventional evaluation criteria, the startups qualifying to pitch at the Mekong Tourism Forum were also assessed on socioeconomic factors such as contribution to the responsible tourism development of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), employment of local people, especially women, and inclusive growth,” Mr. Thranhart explained.

“Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam are all counting on tourism to contribute to their economic growth and socioeconomic development,” said Mr. Dominic Mellor, Head of the MBI. “While governments can provide favorable policy conditions for tourism development, startups must do the hard work of enticing tourists, creating jobs, and generating income. MIST has proven that the region’s startups are up to the challenge.”

The Mekong Tourism Forum is an annual platform for public and private sector stakeholders to discuss the development, marketing, and promotion of travel to, from, and within the GMS.

It will take place in Luang Prabang from June 6-9. Qualifying MIST startups will present their business plans to media, investors, and an expert judging panel. Four will be awarded innovation grants of $7,000-$10,000.

Five Vietnamese travel startups qualify to pitch business plans to investors

Bayo - Bayo’s mission is to help Vietnamese make the best travel decisions by helping them find the right travel information, right suppliers, and right products and prices, and to transact with local suppliers easily.

I Love Asia - I Love Asia offers women-led motorbike tours of Hoi An and Hue while supporting projects for disadvantaged communities in the cities where they operate.

Dichung - Dichung uses technology to promote low-impact rideshare transportation options, giving drivers the chance to trade free seats in their vehicles, and working with taxi companies to develop vanpools.

Chameleon City - Chameleon City is an on-demand chat-based service providing travel and lifestyle answers from local experts, 24/7.

Morning Rooms - Morning Rooms is Vietnam’s largest budget hotel network, helping budget tourists find the right quality rooms for a price they can afford.

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