in Up To €500K Booking.Com Fund With Innovative Ideas Of Sustainable Tourism
Hong Kong, 7th November 2018 – Today Booking.com, a leader in travel technology, announces the opening of applications for the third annual Booking Booster accelerator program for startups in sustainable tourism. Booking.com is calling startups from around the world that are building technology-driven solutions to solve sustainable travel challenges – in multiple areas – to apply for support from its €2 million fund.
Booking Booster 3.0 Provide Trainings For Startups To Promote The Development Of Sustainable Tourism
Startups from all over the world are invited to apply for the 2019 Booking Booster Program as of today (November 1, 2018). Applications close on December 2, 2018, so interested startups should visit the Booking Booster section on the Booking Cares website for full information and additional details. For the 2019 Booking Booster Program, Booking.com will select and invite 10 social enterprise startups in the sustainable tourism sector that are ready to scale their business plans to a three-week accelerator program in Amsterdam in May 2019. The program will consist of a series of lectures, hands-on workshops and coaching sessions, culminating in a final pitch to receive a grant of up to €500k from Booking.com’s €2 million fund in order to help support the next stage of projected growth for the participating startups. All the startups will also receive a full year of ongoing mentoring and coaching from Booking.com experts, as well as opportunities and access to collaborate with Booking.com on potential innovation initiatives and experiments to help accelerate their future growth.
“Going into the program’s third year, we are increasingly impressed with the amazing entrepreneurial spirit of the startups who apply for Booking Booster,” said Gillian Tans, President and CEO of Booking.com. “We truly believe in the power of technology to transform how we all experience the world for the better, and are looking forward to supporting the next wave of change-makers who are seeking to have a lasting, sustainable impact on the travel industry at large.”
The Key Areas Of Sustainable Tourism
Booking Booster successfully connects the innovative ideas that address sustainability issues in the travel industry, including creating economic opportunities for women through travel technology, promoting inclusive growth for under-resourced local communities, and protecting the environment. Here are the awarding ideas from our past Booking Booster campaign:
Creating economic opportunities for women through travel technology – One inspiring example in this larger movement to address gender inequality through innovation is the Women on Wheels program of Sakha Consulting, one of the top grant recipients from the 2018 Booster program. Over the next two years, they will provide livelihoods in transport to over 1,000 resource-poor women who, as chauffeurs, will collectively earn over €2 million for themselves and their families, while also providing more than a million safe rides to women across India.
Promoting inclusive growth for under-resourced local communities – A striking example of the increasing number of startups addressing this issue, Backstreet Academy is a peer-to-peer impact travel platform dedicated to alleviating poverty through tourism and technology. Since winning the top Booster grant in 2017, they have increased the number of micro-entrepreneurs they work within Southeast Asia by 16% and nearly doubled the income they helped generate for local communities. By allowing travelers to interact with these artisans firsthand, through their platform they have also helped to preserve and keep alive 213 traditions, crafts and examples of intangible cultural heritage in 2017, looking to grow to more than 240 in 2018.
Protecting the environment – A 2017 Booster grant winner, Desolenator is addressing both the water crisis and the plastic problem through their cutting-edge technology which produces clean drinking water from any source using solar energy. The Desolenator team is currently preparing for a series of important pilot projects in 2019, including replacing all plastic water bottles for an island resort in Cambodia through their sustainable water solution. In just the first year of the Cambodia pilot, the Desolenator team aims to save more than $33,000 in operating costs for the hotel, eliminate the usage of more than 30,000 plastic bottles and reduce their carbon footprint by more than eight tons.
In helping travelers to explore and experience more than 143,000 unique destinations all over the world, Booking.com also seeks to contribute to the ongoing health of these same destinations so that future generations can continue to enjoy them for years to come. Together with the Booking Cares Fund and the Booking Cares Labs, the Booking Booster Program sits alongside Booking.com’s internal volunteer program, where employees have long partnered with local organizations on projects that help improve destinations worldwide. Together these initiatives make up and further expand Booking.com’s commitment to make a positive impact on the global tourism industry. For more information about upcoming programs and opportunities, please visit the Booking Cares website.