PATA and Visa Empower Southeast Asian Tourism SMEs with Finance and Digital Skills Workshops

PATA and Visa Empower Southeast Asian Tourism SMEs with Finance and Digital Skills Workshops

(IN SHORT) The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has successfully concluded a series of finance and digital skills workshops for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the tourism sector across Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia, and the Philippines. In partnership with Visa, these workshops aimed to enhance the financial management and digital literacy of tourism businesses, especially SMEs, to build resilience and adaptability in the post-COVID-19 era. PATA developed an online learning course covering financial management, risk assessment, sustainability, and digital tools tailored to SMEs, and conducted in-person workshops in these countries from July to September 2023. The workshops covered finance and digital skills, benefiting 120 participants in total. This initiative aligns with PATA’s commitment to fostering resilience and sustainability in the tourism sector and was well-received by SMEs looking to enhance their capabilities in a changing landscape.

(PRESS RELEASE) Bangkok, Thailand, 2023-Nov-1 — /Travel PR News/ — The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is delighted to announce the successful completion of the finance and digital skills workshops for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in tourism, which took place in Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia and the Philippines. These workshops were part of PATA’s collaboration with Visa to build the capacity of tourism businesses in Southeast Asia towards efficient financial management and increased digital literacy.

The COVID-19 pandemic has urged tourism businesses and destinations across the world to build greater resilience and become more innovative and adaptive. To do so, the tourism industry must strive to be robust enough to withstand crises and unexpected events, but also flexible enough to quickly adapt to new circumstances. For SMEs, this includes, for example, learning how to identify and manage risks, effectively manage finances, increase sustainable practices to save costs and stay competitive, and make use of digital tools and platforms to better reach customers and manage operations.

With this in mind, PATA developed an online learning course covering these topics specifically tailored to tourism SMEs. Although they comprise approximately 80% of all tourism businesses, SMEs are often vulnerable – especially in times of crisis – due to lack of capacity, time and resources. The Finance and Digital Skills course was therefore created to assist SMEs in their resilience-building process and increase their capacity to better navigate the post-COVID-19 tourism era.

The course was developed with the support and expertise of Visa and the Practical Business Skills initiative, and it is available for free in six languages on PATA’s Sustainability Resource Centre website.

To take this knowledge further, PATA and Visa implemented in-person workshops in Hanoi, Jakarta, Siem Reap and the Laguna Province with the invaluable support of the Viet Nam National Authority of Tourism (VNAT), the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy of Indonesia, the Ministry of Tourism of Cambodia, and the Philippine Department of Tourism, respectively. These took place from July to September 2023.

Each workshop consisted of two days, the first focussing on Finance Skills and the second on Digital Skills. The first encompasses topics such as financial management (statements, formulas, financing opportunities, etc.), risk management and financial benefits of sustainability, whereas the digital skills workshop covers business digitalisation, digital marketing and online payments, and cybersecurity.

The last set of workshops happened from September 11-12 in Santa Cruz, Laguna Province, in the Philippines. This workshop had the largest number of attendees, 43 owners and managers of local tourism SMEs, mostly travel agencies and accommodation providers. In total, the Finance and Digital Skills workshops were attended by 120 participants in the four destinations.

According to PATA Chair Peter Semone, “Helping build resilience and increase sustainability in tourism is of great significance to us. We have been advocating for it since before the pandemic, but especially with our Tourism Destination Resilience Programme launched in 2021. Our aim is to ensure that the tourism sector never has to undergo the challenges and hardship witnessed during COVID-19. We are therefore delighted to see the high level of interest of SMEs in becoming part of this initiative, to help them be more resilient and adaptive.”

Patsian Low, Vice President of Inclusive Impact & Sustainability for Asia Pacific at Visa, added, “Visa has long been committed to the digital and financial upskilling of small and micro-businesses worldwide.  Given the importance of tourism in Southeast Asia, we are delighted that our partnership with PATA has supported so many small businesses in tourism in the region to move towards greater digitalisation and financial empowerment.  Our partnership with PATA is just one example of how Visa uplifts everyone, everywhere by being the best way to pay and be paid.”

To see photos of the workshops, please click below: 

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About the Pacific Asia Travel Association

Founded in 1951, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is a not-for-profit membership association that acts as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region.

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Source: PATA