ADB Ventures has announced a new partnership to promote sustainable tourism in Southeast Asia and beyond. In cooperation with the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and Plug and Play, ADB Ventures will collaborate with hospitality corporations to pilot and scale CleanTech and circular economy solutions that reduce the carbon footprint of the tourism industry.


Plug and Play is a Silicon Valley company which helps startups connect to large corporations, and PATA is a pan-regional association of governments, airports, hospitality organisations, educational institutions, and travel companies in Asia Pacific and the rest of the world.

Ramesh Subramaniam, director general of ADB’s Southeast Asia Regional Department, presented on this new initiative to more than 300 corporate innovation executives and technology company leaders at the inaugural Plug and Play APAC Summit in Singapore.

At the event, Mr. Subramaniam said,

“ADB recognizes that Asia and the Pacific benefits tremendously from tourism. Well managed tourism is helping to end poverty, achieve gender equality, make cities more livable and inclusive; and promote peace.”

Mr. Subramaniam also conceded that increasing tourism can have a negative effect on the environment.

“In this context,” he continued, “our shared intention is to use the Plug and Play APAC Travel Program to pilot and scale CleanTech and circular economy technologies that reduce waste, conserve energy and water, and provide green transport solutions to reduce the tourism industry’s carbon footprint.”

Part of the agreement between the new partners is that ADB Ventures becomes a participant in the Plug and Play APAC Travel Program. Consistent with ADB’s corporate Strategy 2030, ADB Ventures supports and invests in technology-enabled business models by engaging with corporate innovators in targeted industries including agriculture, finance, energy, and now tourism.

Mr. Subramaniam added: “Our new partnership with Plug and Play and PATA also builds on ADB’s longstanding tourism-sector engagement is Southeast Asia.”

Since the early 2000s, ADB lending and technical assistance have financed public infrastructure, human development, and regional cooperation to help develop inclusive and sustainable tourism across the region.