The Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism program, MIST, is accepting nominations for organisations that are innovative, inspire others with their approach to tourism, and create profits while maximizing benefits to society and the environment.

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Do you know a travel startup, either travel tech or social enterprise, that is is making an impact on how we get inspired, book trips, and experience destinations, and is maximizing social impact?

Please nominate at www.MIST.asia.

Now in its third year, the Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism program (MIST), is managed by the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office as a co-initiative between the Mekong Business Initiative and MTCO, funded by the Asian Development Bank and the Australian government. 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. As one of the first travel startup programs by a tourism board, MIST has been able to attract nearly 500 applications and millions of social shares in the first three years. Recognizing both travel tech ventures and social enterprises, MIST is an important contribution to sustainable tourism development, inclusive growth, and gender equality.

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, open for MIST finalists and MIST advisors, will be hosted at the PATA HQ Office on October 8, in Bangkok. The 2019 MIST Showcase and Travel Startups Asia Forum will be in Bangkok on October 9 and is open to travel companies and investors interested in connecting with travel startups in the Greater Mekong Subregion.

What is MIST 2019? Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism (MIST) is an exclusive two-day conference for the Greater Mekong Subregion’s top tourism, transportation, and hospitality startups. It will take place November 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand.
On Day 1 (October 8th at PATA HQ in Bangkok), startups have an opportunity to get advice on their pitches from mentors and will attend workshops.
On Day 2 (October 9th at Quaint Restaurant Bangkok), startups will present to investors, industry leaders, and media in the morning. In the afternoon, the half-day Travel Startups Asia Forum will feature engaging sessions on entrepreneurship and innovation in the travel and tourism industry in Southeast Asia. The event will finish with a networking reception to mingle and deepen relationships.

What kinds of startups participate in MIST? MIST 2019 will welcome 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