Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) Day 2023

Small Steps, Big Impact :Sustainable Future through MSMEs

June 27, 2023 | Celebrating Worldwide

In celebration of Micro-, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) Day,
we invited 4 PATA International Members to share how their organisations are operated with a mission to support their community in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The 3 Pillars
of Sustainable Tourism


A United Nations global assessment of progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) makes clear the important role that tourism must play in achieving the ambitious agenda for change.


of all firms are formal and informal MSMEs


of all employment are made up of MSMEs


of GDP comes from MSMEs


of formal jobs are generated by SMEs

Tamarind has a company policy of consciously giving back to society on a continuous basis, as and where possible. We recognise that the environment, communities and culture within which we operate are vital to the success of our business. This includes Responsible Tourism as well as CSR initiatives.

Q1: As one of India’s leading destination and event management companies, how does your company support the creation of job opportunities and improvement of economy for communities in where your offices are based at and destinations you provide services in?

At Tamarind, we are dedicated to job creation, economic growth, and community development. We recruit and educate workers, establish local partnerships, and promote tourism to stimulate the economy and generate employment opportunities. By sourcing goods and services from local suppliers, providing training and development programs, and engaging in corporate social responsibility initiatives, we contribute to the well-being of the communities we serve. Our efforts aim to make a positive impact on both the economy and the social fabric of the regions we operate in. Through these actions, we foster sustainable growth, support local businesses, and enhance the skills of the workforce, all while investing in the betterment of society. Tamarind is committed to leveraging its resources and expertise to drive economic prosperity and create a positive and lasting impact on the communities where we operate.

Q2:  Following the previous question, what inspired your organisation to do so?

At Tamarind, we uphold social responsibility by creating job opportunities and supporting local economic development. We believe in sustainable tourism practices and invest in local communities to preserve cultural heritage, conserve the environment, and contribute to overall well-being. Our commitment to community development also serves as a strategy for business growth, as strong relationships with local suppliers and partners enhance our reputation and attract more clients. We understand that prioritizing economic growth and community support helps us attract and retain talented professionals who value organizations with a positive social impact. Furthermore, government regulations and incentives often inspire us to contribute to the local economy. Overall, our motivations at Tamarind are driven by our unique values, mission, and vision, combined with a genuine desire to make a positive impact on society through job creation and economic development.

Q3:. Why do you think SMEs are irreplaceable in the development of better communities and the economy?

SMEs are vital for community and economic development. They create jobs, drive local economic growth, foster entrepreneurship, address niche markets, promote social integration, exhibit resilience, and contribute to regional development. SMEs generate employment, enhance income levels, and stimulate the local economy through sourcing from local suppliers and collaborating with nearby businesses. Their agility and adaptability drive innovation and competition, meeting specific market needs. SMEs provide opportunities for individuals from diverse backgrounds, fostering inclusivity and social cohesion. They demonstrate resilience in the face of market challenges and contribute to the stability of local economies. Moreover, SMEs, dispersed across different regions, play a crucial role in balancing regional development, improving infrastructure, and reducing urban-rural disparities. Overall, SMEs significantly contribute to building vibrant communities, improving living standards, and fostering economic prosperity.

Airalo is the world's first and largest eSIM store. It was founded in July 2019 by Bahadir Ozdemir and Abraham Burak to revolutionize the travel connectivity industry. Their aim: To provide instant, global connectivity to all travelers. Airalo gives travelers access to eSIMs (digital SIMs) for 200+ countries and regions worldwide. Users can visit the Airalo website or app, install an eSIM for their destination, and instantly connect to a mobile network upon arrival. There's no need to seek a local SIM vendor, struggle with spotty Wi-Fi, or worry about unexpected roaming charges. Just easy, affordable, flexible connectivity.

Millions of users worldwide trust Airalo to keep them connected wherever they travel. The Airalo app is available on the App Store and Google Play Store, with a 4.7- and 4.5-star rating. Every Airalo user is part of a global travel community that uses eSIMs to stay connected.

Q1: As the world's first eSIM store, what inspired Airalo to do what it currently does?

At Airalo, we've faced the same issues travelers do in staying connected abroad. We've waited in line to buy local SIM cards, struggled with spotty Wi-Fi, and come home to expensive roaming charges — and we're here to fix it. 

Our mission is to make it easier and more affordable for global travelers to stay connected. With an eSIM from Airalo, travelers can purchase an eSIM package, install an eSIM, and instantly connect to a mobile network at their destination. 

eSIMs simplify travel connectivity. They work 100% digitally, making them a convenient, affordable, and sustainable alternative to physical SIM cards. eSIMs take the stress out of staying connected and allow globetrotters everywhere to get back to what they love — travel.

Q2:  How does your company contribute telecom infrastructure to bring connectivity where needed?

Airalo's scale and volume make it possible for us to provide the lowest prices worldwide for travel connectivity. We're industry leaders in the telecom and travel spaces and have built deep partnerships with global suppliers to ensure our users the best prices, service, and connectivity.

Q3: Why do you think SMEs are important in the development of building more resilient infrastructure?

SMEs help connect the entire business ecosystem. The goods and services they provide are essential in creating a stronger, more resilient telecom infrastructure. Remote-first organizations like Airalo create jobs that support a larger and more diverse global workforce. Our incredible team spans 20+ countries and six continents. SMEs like Airalo are also at the forefront of partnering with local entrepreneurs and businesses, thereby helping boost infrastructure and economic activity in local communities. Airalo partners with nearly 1,500 partners globally through its partner programs making affordable, global connectivity a reality almost anywhere across the world.

Hiking Adventure Treks is specialized in conducting exemplary private and group joining trips focused on Adventure Trekking in Nepal, Hiking in Nepal, and the best tour packages in Nepal, Bhutan, India & Tibet. Founded in the year 2006 A.D. with an exceptional and highly committed team, its vision has always been to showcase Nepal as a captivating destination that encompasses a harmonious blend of nature, culture, adventure, and wildlife tourism, catering to the needs and desires of individuals seeking leisure, exploration, and enriching cultural experiences.

Moreover, if you yearn for high mountains or the hills of Nepal, hike the Taktsang monastery in Bhutan, be with your loved one at the Taj Mahal, or stroll the ancient city of Lhasa in Tibet, Hiking Adventure Treks makes it simply accessible.

Q1: What inspired Hiking Adventure Treks to do what it currently does.

Nepal being a country with rich geographical diversity and complex culture, our company had a vision to make tourism one of the means to translate this richness of nature, culture and history into the economy to maximize the opportunity for community benefits through tourism.

The company was established with the aim of expanding its global client base and operating as an inbound tour company in Nepal. This decision was made after conducting a comprehensive study of sustainable tourism practices worldwide, as at the time of its inception, tourism practices lacked a systematic approach due to limited knowledge and awareness regarding sustainable tourism practices.

At a time when online resources became available for marketing purposes, our company wisely seized this opportunity to utilize digital platforms for its promotional activities.

Q2:  How does the company incorporate sustainable practices in its trekking operations and infrastructure development to minimise the impacts when consuming natural resources for tourism?

Prior to commencing the tour, travelers receive comprehensive guidance on the country's general rules with basic norms as well as the practices that they are expected to follow throughout their journey. Licensed guides are deployed during the tour or trek to ensure the sustainable utilization of natural resources. 

Likewise, Guests are motivated to choose eco-friendly products that have a limited impact on the environment and to prioritize locally sourced goods and services. While engaging in treks, there is a strong emphasis on purifying water from natural sources using filters, aiming to reduce plastic waste. Moreover, guests are encouraged to refill their own water containers from conveniently accessible points along the route, rather than buying bottled water. The same principle applies to packaged snacks, as clients are encouraged to consume meals prepared in local restaurants instead of relying on packaged options, significantly reducing plastic consumption along the route.

Infrastructure developments associate closely with the recommendations provided by the national park authority, local governing bodies, and other stakeholders in contributing to the planned and well-managed development of infrastructure in the region.

Q3: In what ways does your company engage with travellers to raise awareness and foster a deeper understanding of the cultural, social, and environmental aspects of the regions they travel?

Prior to arrival, travelers are briefed about the country, plans, procedures, expectations, prices and routes of travel. Upon arriving, travelers are introduced to the guides and staff with whom they will be engaged during the entire trip. One of the exclusive resources of our company is the experienced, appreciated and certified workforce who have a deeper understanding of culture, anticipations and extraordinary knowledge of the country.

Trekking through one of the harsh environments in the Himalayas is exciting and equally has issues in safety caused due to weather conditions. Our staff and rescue forces are constantly updated to ensure the safety of clients.

Likewise, during tours of cultural and historical sites, clients are accompanied by knowledgeable and well-trained guides to present them with unique cultural practices that possibly enhance and become exciting for the understanding of the subject matter and historical background.

LightBlue is a UN-awarded Food Waste Prevention Tech and Consultancy Organization Reconciling Sustainability with Business Excellence. Since 2012, we have developed unique skills, technologies, and methodologies to minimize food waste and boost sustainability of operations. In other words, we are Food Waste Hackers.

We’ve run over 45 projects with international hotel groups (Hyatt, Constance, Marriott, Accor), Government Agencies (HRDC, TCEB), Development Agencies (GIZ, Michelin Guide Thailand.), Universities and Culinary Schools (Polytechnic Singapore, ESCP Europe, Ferrandi, NHL STENDEN) and restaurant groups (Cofoco Denmark, Bo.lan, J’AIME) and have presence in over 20 countries.

LightBlue approaches food waste prevention from a human-centric lens, with the right combination of agile technology, capacity building and personalized solutions & strategies scaled to optimize financial performance and leave a positive footprint on the planet.

Q1: What inspired LightBlue to do what it currently does?

Benjamin, the founder, started his journey in the fight against food waste over a decade ago when he first hand witnessed the staggering waste mounting within the hospitality sector. He was shocked by the lack of understanding, existing benchmarks, in-depth studies or solutions, coupled with the staggering financial, social and environmental impact of Food Waste.

Put simply: because professionals couldn’t answer the key questions of What, Where, When, Why and How much food waste cost them, this convinced him to take this issue into his own hands.

Since 2012, LightBlue has built a highly scalable food waste monitoring technology called FIT Tech used in 20+ countries, has designed dozens of workshops, training modules, projects and methodologies, used practical learning experience through its online courses: LightBlue Learning, developed a global certification program for restaurants to gain a competitive edge through The PLEDGE™ on Food Waste, and more to offer on its menu.

Q2:  What are the impacts that LightBlue Consulting has brought to the travel and tourism industry in the scope of SDG 12?

Firstly, we help professionals understand the most crucial question: WHY is food waste even an issue.

Due to the lack of existing solutions, we’ve designed systems, certifications, tools, and methodologies to tackle food waste at the source in hotels, restaurants, and canteens. We’ve formed close collaborations with culinary, hospitality and business schools across three continents to help shape the future of this industry. A remarkable 520 students and lecturers from NHL Stenden recently were enrolled into our masterclass on Food Waste prevention! We’ve been actively speaking in international conferences (UNWTO, APEC, EU) to raise this issue.

Our fast-growing Accredited Consultants network in 12 countries has helped accelerate the dissemination of knowledge and methodologies across the US, Europe, Asia and the Indian Ocean.

In 2022, we achieved the following results:

  • 270,777 kg of Total Food Waste Rescued

  • $1,177,533 Total Savings

  • 676.9 Tons of CO2 not emitted

  • 41.3% Average Food Waste Reduction

Q3: Why do you think SMEs are important in the process of advancing SDG 12?

SMEs such as LightBlue are situated in a unique and advantageous position to address the food waste issue that has long been left unaddressed in the hospitality sector. This is due to the very nature of how SMEs are able to leverage their agile and flexible strengths in a rapidly changing landscape.

The smaller scale of SMEs allows more room for developing and implementing sustainable practices, innovative solutions, and unique insights without the same risks larger corporate structures are likely to face.

This risk-taking approach by SMEs, centered around adopting sustainable practices, extends to driving economic growth and employment opportunities in developing countries, which aligns with SDG 12's goal of ensuring Responsible Consumption and Production.

LightBlue has embodied these qualities from providing said practices and solutions to this evolving landscape, as well as fostering local growth in areas larger entities may be less drawn to take the initiative on.