Khmer Tourism for the Future, an initiative aimed to improve resilience and bring innovation to the tourism industry heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, has found its 6 winning teams during semi-final pitch on 20 November.
The initiative, organized by Impact Hub Phnom Penh and co-funded by Khmer Enterprise, started with a 2-month pre-incubation phase.
After the Khmer Tourism for the Future Pitch Night, 6 out of 10 startups in the tourism sector were announced as winners and will receive USD 5,000 seed fund from Khmer Enterprise to develop their startups and businesses. They will also participate in a 6-month entrepreneurial incubation program.
“Since the borders have been closer to international tourists, the tourism sector is facing the biggest crisis of its history. In such a challenging context, new opportunities are arising to design the future of domestic tourism in Cambodia. From the 10 startups teams we selected, we can see new models emerging such as agro-tourism, permaculture tourism, community based eco tourism, art tourism, adventure tourism, tech-based and non-tech solutions, all run by passionate and committed entrepreneurs who share the same desire to create new jobs, and develop new destinations,” said Melanie Mossard, Director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation of Impact Hub Phnom Penh, about the initiative.
The six selected teams were:
Unseentra, a web platform, where travel operators, local guide, tourist attraction sites can sell adventurous, local oriented travel activities and experiences packages to travelers from around the world. The platform allows operators to manage their operations, booking, and most importantly gaining sales numbers by accessing new markets.
Haystome, a platform which connects tourists with local artisans to experience various Art & craft through masterclasses.
WeFarm, supporting youth and young farmers on sustainable farming since 2018. They have organized training courses to learn on sustainable agriculture topics and community-based tourism.
Solo Landscape, an adventure tour operator for explorers and nature lovers. Beside running tours, Solo Landscape is committed to support the training of local guides in waste management practices and hosting skills.
YEA Catalyst, an agency working in partnership with CBETs to strengthen management capacity, develop diversified products and brand their destination to marketplaces.
CRDT Tours, a non-profit operator supporting CBET by developing educational and community development tours. They organize 1-7 day trips to remote destinations in Cambodia, where tourists can enjoy an immersive learning experience in the local community while staying in a rural homestay and contributing to local community project development.
The initiative Khmer Tourism for the Future was originally launched on 13 August 2020 as a startup incubation program designed to build resilience and drive innovation in an industry that has been drastically impacted by COVID-19. The incubator aims to provide young startups with intensive training and extensive support to re-imagine the sector in the next 12 months, and to pave a new future for sustainable community-based tourism.
To check out what happened during the Pitch Night, visit: phnompenh.impacthub.net/khmer-tourism-for-the-future