PATA and Visa’s Finance and Digital Skills for Tourism SMEs Workshops Successfully Completed


In September 2022, PATA and Visa joined forces to launch the project “Empowering SMEs and Informal Workers in the Tourism Industry”, an extension of the Tourism Destination Resilience (TDR) Programme, which was launched in 2021 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The partnership with Visa consisted of two initiatives: the Informal Workers Programme, delivered from March to May 2023, and the Finance and Digital Skills for Tourism SMEs. The latter included tailored in-person training sessions and free online courses, which are available online in 6 languages.  

Online Modules for Tourism SMEs

The Finance and Digital Skills for Tourism SMEs programme aims to assist these key players in the tourism industry in the process of resilience-building, as it is crucial for them to build soft skills, mitigate and manage business risks, and learn how to bounce back in times of crisis. The programme comprises two parts: the free online course and the offline training sessions in four pilot destinations. 

To begin the programme, the online course was launched in June, 2023 on PATA's SRC (Sustainability Resource Centre) website. The course, divided into two modules of Finance and Digital Skills, is available in 6 languages: English, Vietnamese, Khmer, Bahasa Indonesia, Thai and Mandarin Chinese. They can be accessed after registering or creating an account on the SRC. After completing the course and final quiz, participants receive a certificate of completion. 

The online modules comprise the following topics:

Finance Skills

  1. Business financial basics

  2. Financial management for SMEs 

  3. Business risk management

  4. Financial benefits of sustainability

Digital Skills

  1. Business digitalisation

  2. Digital marketing 

  3. Digital payments

  4. Cybersecurity

Learn more about the online course here.

The in-person workshop was implemented in four destinations: Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia and the Philippines, from July to September, 2023. The workshops were divided into two sessions of finance and digital skills, hence two days of workshop in each destination. 

The contents from the online course were tailored to local context and languages to ensure participants benefited as much as possible. To do so, local trainers were hired to prepare and deliver the workshops, providing their invaluable knowledge and experience on finances and digitalisation to local tourism businesses. A total of 120 participants joined the workshops across the four destinations.

Hanoi, Vietnam

The workshop in Hanoi, Vietnam, took place on July 20-21, with a total of 21 participants, coming mostly from travel agencies and service providers. The Finance Skills and Digital Skills workshop were led respectively by Ms. Le Nguyen Ngoc Thanh, Lecturer in Business and Marketing Management and Tourism and Hospitality Management at Ho Chi Minh City University of Economics and Finance, Ton Duc Thang University and RMIT University, and Ms. Trang Huong Pham, Lecturer in Tourism and Hospitality Management at RMIT University.

Jakarta, Indonesia
For Indonesia, PATA collaborated with PINTAR, an educational organisation that provides courses for personal and professional development and degree programmes in Indonesia. The workshop took place at the PINTAR Campus in Jakarta on July 26-27. The Finance Skills trainer was Mr Bachtiar Marbun, President Commissioner at PT BPR Supradanas, and Ms. Mahaning Indrawaty Wijaya was the Digital Skills trainer. Ms. Wijaya is a Lecturer, Researcher and Curriculum Designer at Bina Nusantara University. A group of 22 tourism professionals attended the 2-day workshop, mostly coming from the hospitality sector.

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Taking place on August 11, the Finance Skills workshop in Siem Reap, Cambodia, was led by H.E. Try Chhiv, Advisor and Director of International Cooperation and ASEAN Department in the Ministry of Tourism of Cambodia. The Digital Skills workshop took place on August 10, and was prepared and delivered by Mr. Kakda Khun, Senior Lecturer and Researcher at the Royal University of Phnom Penh. In total, the workshop was attended by 34 participants, mostly accommodation providers in Siem Reap.

Laguna, Philippines

The last workshop was conducted in Santa Cruz, Laguna Province, in the Philippines, on September 11-12. For this workshop, PATA received support from Azyleah Ignacio in leading the Finance Skills session and Aaron Corpuz in leading the Digital Skills session. Ms. Ignacio is a Business Development Specialist and Vice President of TwoEco, Inc., and Mr. Corpuz is a Digital Marketing Faculty Member and Digital Advertising Manager at Enderun Colleges. This last round of the Finance and Digital Skills workshops received the highest number of attendees, 43, who are mostly owners or managers of accommodation businesses.

The workshops were all concluded successfully, with 85% of participants reporting a high or very high level of understanding of financial management and business digitalisation following the training. Moreover, 91% of respondents reported that they will soon begin to apply the content learned in the programme to their businesses. 

Thanks to Visa and the support of the Ministry of Tourism of Cambodia, the Vietnam National Authority of Tourism, the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy of Indonesia, and the Philippine Department of Tourism, PATA was  able to deliver the programme, empowering and training tourism SMEs in Southeast Asia to move towards a more sustainable and resilient tourism industry in the region.

Stay tuned for a highlights video of the workshops coming soon!

Do you have any questions about the Finance and Digital Skills workshops for tourism SMEs? Would you like to bring the programme to your destination? Get in touch with us at Also, don't miss PATA's newsletters for updates on this and other sustainability and resilience initiatives.


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