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The region's Tourism & Travel Startup Program

Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism

The Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism (MIST) is a program launched by the Asian Development Bank and the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office, operated by Destination Mekong. It is the Lancang-Mekong Region’s first travel startup program. Launched in 2017, it was set up to help integrate local travel startups into the global travel and tourism ecosystem, promote innovation, and support local firms thrive in the globally competitive tourism industry.

With two tracks, Travel Social Enterprises and Travel Technology Ventures, its alumni have been recognized among the top startups in tourism in the region, and some have attracted investment and partnerships through the program. 

MIST

What does innovation look like?

MIST is especially looking for solutions – both tech and non-tech – in 11 areas. These are key areas where innovation should be drive in the region.

Past Winners

Winner 2019 - Travel Technology Category
“The No.1 golf booking service in Thailand” Golfdigg is the easiest, most convenient platform to book at more than 150 courses all over Thailand. Book up to 30 days in advance with 24 hours service and enjoy special discounts of up to 80% on your green fee.
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Runner-up 2019 - Travel Technology Category
LOCA is a Laos Based Ride-Hailing Service Application. Give you the most convenient way to get a taxi or private car.
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Winner 2019 - Social Impact Category
At Noir, Dining in the Dark, it is more than just a meal. It is a sensory journey that will make you re-evaluate your perception of taste and smell. Be one of the first to try this one-of-a-kind dining experience for a unique date or group outing in Saigon.
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Runner-up 2019 - Social Impact Category
Laos buffalo dairy is a socially responsible, sustainable farm, and social enterprise. Our aim is to improve the rural prosperity, welfare, nutrition, and health of the local population, with a focus on buffalo farming, and childhood nutrition We achieve these goals by improving local agriculture through: better genetics, increased vaccinations, animal husbandry, veterinary care, and a nutrition program aimed at reducing the 44 percent malnutrition rate in Laos This project is supported by the on site production of dairy products, tourism, and donations.
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Winner 2018
Founded by the guiding principle of respect through preservation and preservation through education, Bamboo Lao's shared values are cultural and environmental health and sustainability, self-sufficiency, local involvement, and fair-trade economy. We believe that in order to save our Earth for the next generation to enjoy, we must do so holistically to preserve both the natural world, and the rich cultural traditions of community, story-telling, and spirituality. Bamboo Lao guarantees that in all business practices they will behave ethically and sustainably in regards to the environment, people and culture.
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Runner-up 2018
Ecohost is a Vietnam high-quality ecotourism model based on community, founded by a team of experts who have the same goal of developing sustainable tourism. Ecohost supports the ecotourism community in Vietnam through training, loans and image promotion. At the same time, Ecohost brings local and foreign tourists to be closer and guides tourists to visit, experience, and use local products on responsible and sustainable criteria.
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Winner 2017
GoP is an online tour platform amassing tour providers, local experts and options into one place, offering high-quality service, reliable bookings and instant confirmation. Through innovation, GoP is successfully solving the problem of time-consuming, confusing, and often unreliable travel planning in Myanmar. GoP gives local people, local tour companies and local guides access to the market.
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Runner-up 2017
CamboTicket took up the challenge to revolutionise the inefficient counter booking system to the new age online booking system. In this previously unorganized industry, the mass computerization of the ground network undertaken by CamboTicket helps in ensuring that its customers get the most accurate real time updates on bus seat availability and price while booking through the website.
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Runner-up 2017
Located in the UNESCO World Heritage town of Luang Prabang, Lao PDR, the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre (TAEC) is a local social enterprise founded in 2006 to promote the appreciation and transmission of Laos’ ethnic cultural heritage and livelihoods based on traditional skills. TAEC has emerged as a regional leader in cultural heritage management and community development. It is the only independent resource and learning centre for both foreign visitors and local citizens dedicated to the country’s many and diverse ethnic groups.
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How you can support it

Nominate startups in either of the two categories. Connect with MIST Alumni to explore partnership opportunities.

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