The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), a non-profit membership association acting as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism within the Asia Pacific region, have teamed up with Plug and Play, a global open innovation platform to develop technologies in the space of sustainable tourism for the region. Within the space of travel and sustainable tourism, there is ample room for disruption and impact investment.

ADB and PATA teams up with Plug and Play to push sustainable technology adoption

Tourism is growing rapidly: an industry of industries that contributes $8.8 trillion to global GDP and sustains 318 million jobs. Last year, international tourist arrivals worldwide reached 1.4 billion, 5.6% more than 2017. Strong and rising demand driven by improved connectivity, higher incomes, and open access to travel information suggest tourism will continue to foster global prosperity. “ADB recognises that Asia and the Pacific benefit tremendously from tourism. Well-managed tourism is helping to end poverty, make cities more livable and inclusive, and promote peace,” said Dominic Mellor, ADB Senior Investment Officer. “In this context, our shared intention is to leverage the Plug and Play Travel Asia Pacific platform to pilot and scale sustainable and circular economy technologies that reduce waste, conserve energy and water, and provide green solutions to reduce the tourism industry’s carbon footprint and the effects of over-development across the region and beyond.”

“PATA views sustainability as everybody’s responsibility, and advocates for more inclusive stakeholder collaboration and public private partnerships,” said Dr Mario Hardy, CEO of PATA.

Since its inception, Plug and Play has evolved to become one of the most established global consortium innovation platforms covering 14 industry-themed verticals that reviews thousands of startups per year across its 29 offices. “In the past few years, we’ve been collaborating with over 300 corporations (mostly in the Fortune 500 category) to connect them with cutting edge startups and execute their corporate innovation strategy. As part of our vision to help the world progress through innovation and connection, Plug and Play looks to continue to expand its reach within the regional tourism sector with more corporations to join the Plug and Play Travel Asia Pacific platform,” said Jupe Tan, Managing Partner of Plug and Play Asia Pacific.

By partnering with ADB, PATA, and other corporations on this platform, Plug and Play looks to bring to market breakthroughs that will redefine the travel and tourism industry as well as support the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the region.
The Plug and Play Travel Asia Pacific platform is designed to bring together regional and international corporations to focus on key issues such as improving travel experiences, operational efficiency, and sustainable tourism.

Currently working with several prominent airlines, airports, hotels, travel agents, and other industry stakeholders, Plug and Play aims to also provide regional local large enterprises with transfer and corporate best practices from it’s existing global corporate travel consortium.


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