The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has set up a US$1.7 million technical assistance facility to accelerate Southeast Asia’s tourism recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, boost inclusive, sustainable development in the sector, and help local tourism entrepreneurs, especially women and youth, adopt digital platforms to grow their businesses.
The Southeast Asia Sustainable Tourism Facility, says the ADB, aims to help countries identify and prepare environmentally sustainable tourism projects and catalyze private financing to support them. It will help businesses better operate tourism facilities and deliver digital tourism services.
The facility, according to the bank, will also help policymakers design visa, online short-term rental and other policies to attract longer-staying, higher-spending visitors and remote workers; allow more small entrepreneurs to legitimately operate accommodation services; and boost tourism tax revenues.
ADB’s Steven Schipani, principal tourism industry specialist for Southeast Asia, adds: “Projects supported by the facility will develop green and resilient urban and transport infrastructure in secondary cities to improve the tourism sector’s competitiveness, help create jobs, protect the environment, and accelerate inclusive digital transformations.”