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PATA launches new online learning modules for tourism SMEs on finance and digital skills

The new modules are part of a collaboration with Visa to expand the Tourism Destination Resilience (TDR) Programme.

BANGKOK – The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) announce the launch of two new online learning modules on PATA’s Sustainability Resource Centre (SRC) platform, formerly known as the Crisis Resource Centre (CRC).

The new modules are part of a collaboration with Visa to expand the Tourism Destination Resilience (TDR) Programme. Whereas the previous focus of TDR was to increase resilience at the destination level, providing capacity building to Destination Management Organisations and all destination’s stakeholders; the new modules focus on assisting tourism small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

With the support and expertise of Visa and the Practical Business Skills initiative, PATA has developed two new modules to improve tourism businesses’ financial literacy and digital competency. The modules Finance Skills for Tourism SMEs and Digital Skills for Tourism SMEs are available for free on the Sustainability Resource Centre (SRC). Participants will receive a certificate upon completion of the modules and passing the final quiz. The online modules will also be available in Khmer, Bahasa Indonesia and Vietnamese later this month, and in Thai and Mandarin Chinese at the end of July.

“The Finance and Digital Skills modules are a great tool for small business owners or managers to develop or increase their skills in financial management and business digitalisation,” said PATA Chair Peter Semone. “The modules’ aim is to provide SMEs with the necessary knowledge to successfully manage their business’s finances and increase digital operations to become more efficient and – ultimately – more resilient to challenges and crises.”

The Finance Skills for Tourism SMEs module covers topics such as:

  • budgeting, saving, record keeping and accounting;
  • funding and loan options for SMEs;
  • payment and banking services;
  • how to manage a business’s cash flow and prepare financial statements; and
  • how to calculate products and services break-even points.

As a bonus, the Finance Skills module also covers the topics of risk management for SMEs and financial benefits of business sustainability, to further assist SMEs in their resilience-building process.

About the Finance Skills module, Patsian Low, Vice President of Inclusive Impact & Sustainability for Asia Pacific at Visa, said, “Visa is proud to continue collaborating with PATA by contributing our Practical Business Skills programmes to these new online learning modules. This content has been specifically designed to enable SMEs in the region to grow their financial knowledge and learn the critical digital business skills that will help them create sustainable and resilient businesses long into the future.”

The Digital Skills for Tourism SMEs module covers such topics as:

  • business digitalisation;
  • digital marketing – including how to build a website, how to promote on social media, email marketing, Google My Business, digital advertising and paid ads;
  • digital payment options;
  • how to set up online payments; and
  • how to stay safe online and prevent identity theft, frauds and other cyber crimes.

According to Pavnesh Kumar, PATA’s Sustainability and Social Responsibility Programme Head, “Tourism post-COVID-19 has become more digital than ever. The industry increasingly relies on technology, and to stay competitive, tourism SMEs must adopt and make use of digital tools and platforms to reach customers, manage bookings and payments, and maintain operations. But it is also important to know how to stay safe and keep both businesses’ and customers’ data secure.”

The new online learning modules will be used as a training tool for the in-person capacity-building sessions taking place in July 2023. PATA will deliver training workshops in Manila, Philippines; Hanoi, Vietnam; Siem Reap, Cambodia, and Jakarta, Indonesia.

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