PATA, ADB Ventures and Plug and Play launch Travel Lab Asia

Published on : Friday, September 20, 2019

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), in partnership with ADB Ventures and Plug and Play, today announced the launch of Travel Lab Asia (TLA), Asia’s only corporate innovation programme focused on sustainability in travel.


The announcement was made by Dr. Mario Hardy, CEO – PATA, Graham Harper, Director of Sustainability and Social Responsibility – PATA, Jason Lusk, Impact Labs Manager – ADB Ventures, and Patricia Nordstrom, Corporate Partnerships – Plug and Play during PATA Travel Mart 2019 in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.


“As PATA’s mission is to act as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region, we are excited to announce the launch of Travel Lab Asia in partnership with ADB Ventures and Plug and Play,” said Dr. Hardy. “The travel and tourism industry is recognising that responsible business practices must embrace innovative measures to offset the potentially irreversible damage to our planet caused by climate change, however the availability of technology is constraining them from going beyond quick solutions. Travel Lab Asia provides them the perfect opportunity to find the right solutions for their needs.”


Patricia Nordstrom, Corporate Partnerships, Plug and Play, said, “As a global ecosystem of collaborators, private and public sector stakeholders and entrepreneurs, Plug and Play provides our partners with unrivaled exposure to best practices for working with startups and technology providers. For TLA, we are looking forward to expanding the Plug and Play Travel program in Asia Pacific. Alongside ADB and PATA we will help build up the innovation capability and technological competencies at all of our participating corporate partners focusing on CleanTech and sustainable solutions.”


Travel Lab Asia is a platform for triple-bottom-line innovation in Asia’s travel industry. In its first year, it will focus on helping corporate partners source and integrate CleanTech solutions for improved business performance and environmental impact. Participating corporates will have unrivalled access to sustainability-focused technology solutions from around the world. They will receive support to articulate their sustainability-related technology needs and to develop pilot proposals with solution providers. Furthermore, they will have access to ADB’s research and counsel on environmental and social impact measurement, enabling them to tell clear and credible brand stories as regional leaders in sustainability.


PATA announced that Minor Hotels and Jetwing Hotels, both long-standing PATA members, have enrolled as charter Travel Lab Asia corporate partners.


Hiran Cooray Chairman, Jetwing Symphony PLC, said, “Jetwing is committed to sustainability and pushing the limits of what we can achieve. We are excited by this opportunity to access innovative clean technology that will help us reach the SDGs, especially with our long-standing membership with PATA.”


“Minor Hotels has always believed in giving back to society and has carried out numerous social responsible projects and activities since our first hotel opened back in 1978,” said Dillip Rajakarier, CEO of Minor Hotels and COO of Minor International. “By enrolling in Asia’s first corporate programme focusing solely on sustainability in travel, Travel Lab Asia, we see the potential of making an even greater impact by looking into what we can do within our every-day operations that benefits society and the environment even further.”


As many as four additional corporate partners will be considered for the program, which begins January 1, 2020.


CleanTech includes technology for energy efficiency, waste reduction, recycling and circular economy, food waste management, reduced water use and loss, waste and effluent management, water collection and distribution, natural resource management, and climate change adaptation and mitigation.


Uniquely, Travel Lab Asia includes the potential for the Asian Development Bank to fund and thereby de-risk and expedite the pilot testing of high-potential solutions in emerging markets. The Asian Development Bank will also mobilize support for CleanTech solution providers to scale up in Asia-Pacific emerging markets following successful pilots.


“Booming tourism growth has triggered a hotel, venue, and infrastructure building spree across the Asia Pacific. We have a one-shot opportunity to steer tourism facilities down a sustainable path, which we intend to seize by helping corporate partners align their bottom-line interests with sustainable development goals,” said Jason Lusk of ADB Ventures.


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