We appreciate your interest in shaping the GMS Tourism Sector and getting involved in Mekong Innovative Startup Tourism (MIST). Please send us a message to indicate your interest in participating in MIST. (by clicking on ‘Feedback form’). Also, please feel free to visit the official website of MIST.

What is Mekong Innovative Startup Tourism (MIST)?

Mekong Innovative Startup Tourism (MIST) aims to support innovative new travel & tourism-related ventures in the developing destinations and source markets of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam.  MIST will mentor new ventures, provide support and guidance, and match them with suitable investors.

The Initiative will be run jointly by:

• The Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO), which represents the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Tourism Working Group (TWG)

• The Mekong Business Initiative (MBI), which is facilitated by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) with the support of the Australian Government

Please see more information at:

How it works

How it works

Eligible travel & tourism startups will be identified through a business plan competition adjudicated by a panel of industry experts and venture capitalists. 

Through its extensive network and audience of public- and private-sector travel & tourism stakeholders and media contacts, MTCO will publicise MIST and solicit the submission of travel & tourism-related business plans from CLMV countries.

Finalists will be offered the opportunity to pitch their plans to prospective investors during an Investment Summit session at the annual Mekong Tourism Forum.


MIST is aligned with both the “GMS Tourism Sector Strategy 2016-2025” and the “GMS Tourism Marketing Strategy 2015-2020”. 

MTCO’s mandate is to stimulate responsible tourism development, promote the GMS as a single tourism destination, drive inclusive growth to secondary destinations, and support micro, small and medium sized businesses.

The broader context

The GMS is one of the fastest-growing tourism regions in the world. With the continued rise in wealth of the Asian consumer, that growth is poised to continue. 

Information and communications technology (ICT) drives innovation in travel & tourism in many ways, including:

• ICT makes it possible for consumers to not only to access information about travel options, but also share their experiences in real-time via mobile‎ devices and social media

• ICT enables authentic local experiences via peer-to-peer platforms

• ICT facilitates e-visas and swift and seamless border crossings

Nevertheless, the travel & tourism industry in the GMS for the most part still operates via traditional means when it comes to operations and distribution, especially in secondary destinations, and among micro and small businesses in CLMV countries.

Partnership Opportunities

Interested in partnering with MIST?

Please take look at our opportunities:

Join the conversation

Join the conversation at our dedicated MIST discussion group.

Stay in touch

Stay in touch by signing up to our monthly e-newsletter and following us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn 


Please contact us if you are interested in getting involved in MIST by sending us an email to mist<at>


Thank you,
Jens Thraenhart
Executive Director, Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO)

Dominic Mellor
Head, ADB Mekong Business Initiative (MBI)

E: mist<at>


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