MIST names the 2019 winners

BANGKOK, 17 October 2019: The Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office announced travel startup winners from a shortlist of 10 companies from across the Mekong Region, that competed in the Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism (MIST) competition last week.

MIST was held in Bangkok together with the new Travel Startups Asia Forum, featuring startup stories from successful travel ventures and MIST Alumni.

The two winners of MIST 2019 are Golf Digg from Thailand in the Travel Technology category and Noir from Vietnam in the Social Impact category.

Golf Digg is an online platform for booking golf courses, and Noir is a spa and massage facility staffed by visually impaired people.

The Laotian ride-hailing service Loca won the special runner-up prize in the Travel Technology category. Both winners of the Travel Technology category will present at ITB-Asia on Friday 18 October in Singapore.

Laos Buffalo Dairy won the special runner-up prize in the Social Impact category and the honour of presenting at the 2020 Mekong Tourism Forum in Bagan next May.

The judging panel included senior executives from the Travel and Tourism as well as Travel Technology industry including the CEO of PATA, CEO of Exo Travel, chairman of Khiri Travel, VP of Minor Group, as well as executives from Dusit International, Amadeus, 500 Startups, Techsauce, the Mekong Business Council, Sasin School of Business, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Xpedite Capital Partners, the Thailand Digital Startup Institute, Lykke Studios, Go Real Asia, the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, the Women’s Initiative for Startups and Entrepreneurship, and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

All MIST 2019 finalists and judges can be seen at: https://mist.asia/2019-mist-finalists/

Now in its third year with hundreds of alumni, MIST was jointly managed by the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office and Mekong Business Initiative (MBI). MBI and MIST were supported by the Australian Government and the Asian Development Bank.

This year, the Tourism Authority of Thailand and the Pacific Asia Travel Association were also partnering to support the program. MIST 2019 and the Travel Startups Asia Forum was organized by UNWTO Affiliate Member Chameleon Strategies.

MIST was the first travel startup programme to recognize and create a separate category for social impact enterprises, connecting it to the globally unique Experience Mekong Collection which already has curated nearly 350 small, responsible travel businesses in the Mekong Region. For more information and to read more about MIST 2019, visit www.mist.asia