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PATA partners with Visa to help build the capacity of tourism SMEs and informal workers

Apart from the online modules, PATA and Visa will also conduct in-person training for SMEs, which will take place in the second half of the year in four destinations: Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines.

BANGKOK – The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) announce the start of a new collaboration with Visa to extend the Tourism Destination Resilience (TDR) Programme and continue to help build a more resilient and sustainable tourism industry. The COVID-19 pandemic has painfully proven the importance for destinations to be prepared for challenges and potential crises, and to know how to adapt to changes.

The partnership with Visa focuses specifically on building the capacity of two crucial but often overlooked travel and tourism stakeholders, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and informal workers. For SMEs, PATA and Visa will produce two new online learning modules, focusing on improving financial literacy, and digital competency and cybersecurity. The new courses will be added to PATA’s existing TDR Course and, as with the other modules, will be available to the public in six languages: English, Vietnamese, Bahasa Indonesia, Khmer, Thai, and Mandarin Chinese.

Apart from the online modules, PATA and Visa will also conduct in-person training for SMEs, which will take place in the second half of the year in four destinations: Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines.

According to PATA Chair Peter Semone, “SMEs make up 80% of all tourism businesses. As we future-proof our destinations, SMEs also need to build resilience. In this sense, greater digital literacy and financial knowledge are imperative for learning how to adapt to the new era of tourism and prepare for future challenges that may arise.”

For informal workers working in the travel and tourism industry, the collaboration seeks to empower these professionals by helping build their capacity not only on digital and financial skills but also health and safety, marketing and communication, as well as other topics that may be identified during a needs analysis. For the latter part of the project, the implementation will take place in Indonesia.

Informal workers make up a majority of tourism employment and provide entrepreneurial opportunities for women, youth, and the elderly. However, lacking formal government registration, they often fall through the cracks of social protection and employment benefit schemes in times of crisis.

About the partnership, Patsian Low, Vice President of Inclusive Impact & Sustainability for Asia Pacific at Visa, said, “Visa is proud to provide digital literacy and financial education to the thousands of small and micro businesses and informal workers, such as walking guides, transport drivers or translators, who are the backbone of the tourism industry in our region. As travel and tourism continues to accelerate post-COVID-19, our partnership with PATA will help enable individuals, businesses, and economies to thrive and deliver on our purpose to uplift everyone, everywhere by being the best way to pay and be paid.”

Pavnesh Kumar, PATA’s Sustainability and Social Responsibility Programme Head, adds that “This partnership will not only allow us to expand the impacts of Tourism Destination Resilience within destinations but also target the two groups who most often lack support in the industry. We are looking forward to working with Visa and our country partners to build the capacity of SMEs and informal workers.”

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