Booking.com Doubles Its Support for Startups and Changemakers in Sustainable Tourism in 2018
Booking.com announces the 2018 Booking Booster Program, as well as a series of weekend programs for early-stage startups and a new $2.3 million fund
Building on its successful launch in 2017, today Booking.com, one of the world’s largest e-commerce companies and digital technology leader, is announcing the 2018 Booking Booster Program, a 3-week accelerator in Amsterdam for social enterprise scale-ups in sustainable tourism. In addition to the $2.3 million in grants awarded through Booking Booster, the company is also announcing its plans to further expand its efforts to support organizations and individuals throughout the broader sustainable tourism industry with two new additional initiatives for a total of more than $4.75 million in support available in 2018. The first new program is the Booster Labs, a series of short, regionally-focused weekend programs slated to run globally throughout 2018 and dedicated to giving early-stage startups in sustainable tourism the insights, tools and skills they need to grow and increase their impact. The second new initiative is the Booking Cares Fund, a separate $2.3 million grant program to champion individual non-profit disruptors in sustainable tourism. It will also support their search for new and unexpected solutions to strengthen local communities, preserve and promote culture, protect natural resources, and spread tourism activities more evenly.
In helping travelers to explore and experience more than 120,000 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. The Booking Booster, Booking Booster Labs initiative, and the Booking Cares Fund promote this mission to make a positive impact globally.
“The Booking Booster, our new Booking Booster Labs initiative and the Booking Cares Fund have all been specially designed to support important, innovative players in different sectors throughout the entire sustainable tourism ecosystem,” said Gillian Tans, CEO of Booking.com. “By identifying, funding and mentoring early stage start-ups, social enterprise scale-ups and the non-profit projects and disruptors from universities, governments and NGOs that bring them all together, we can help make an even more meaningful impact. We can empower people and organizations to affect real change to help further a healthy and sustainable future for thousands of destinations all around the world.”
Booking Booster: Accelerator Program for Social Enterprise Scale-ups
For the 2018 Booking Booster program, Booking.com will select and invite a small group of social enterprises in the sustainable tourism sector that are ready to scale their business plans to a 3-week accelerator program in Amsterdam in May 2018.
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 $5.9k from Booking.com’s $2.3 million fund in order to help support the next stage of projected growth for the participating scale-ups. All the social enterprises will also receive several months 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.
Applications open as of today (December 4th, 2017), so visit the Booking Booster section on the Booking Cares website for more details.
Booster Labs: Weekend Programs for Early-stage Startups
In order to help foster and encourage entrepreneurial startups in sustainable tourism at the very earliest stages of their development, Booking.com is introducing the Booster Labs to provide them with the insights, tools and skills they need to grow and increase their impact.
Over the course of a weekend, a select group of 10-15 startups will participate in hands-on workshops and lectures presented by experts in startup growth and sustainable tourism. They’ll also be paired with Booking.com mentors to provide guidance and support as they explore growth-hacking opportunities for their businesses. The weekend programs culminate with each startup pitching their proposed roadmap to a jury of industry experts to win grants between $12,000 and $30,000 from a separate fund specifically set up for the Booster Labs.
The first Booster Lab weekend has just taken place in Barcelona with the next due to take place in Tel Aviv from March 1st – 3rd 2018, where applications open on December 11th. See the Booster Labs section on the Booking.com Cares website for more information and upcoming application deadlines for additional startup weekends planned for the US and Asia in summer 2018.
Booking Cares Fund: Grant Program for Non-profit Changemakers
With the new $2.3 million Booking Cares Fund, Booking.com wants to also provide support to disruptive innovators in the non-profit realm that are passionate about making a difference in the sustainable tourism industry.
Coming from a broad range of non-profit backgrounds, including higher education, government, and NGOs, Booking.com is looking for individual changemakers that have ground-breaking, innovative projects to support. Leaders with bold, ambitious ideas to truly transform the sustainable tourism industry will be awarded with grants between $112 and $300k based on their grant applications. Entries will be judged on a project’s potential to produce meaningful and scalable change. The projects need to be backed by data and be able to produce measurable results.
Applications for the Booking Cares Fund open as of today (December 4th). For more information and application details, visit the Booking Cares Fund section of the Booking.com website.
Booking Booster, the new Booster Labs and the Booking Cares Fund sit alongside Booking.com’s internal volunteer program, Booking Cares, 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 Booking Cares commitment.
Established in 1996 in Amsterdam, Booking.com B.V. has grown from a small Dutch start-up to one of the largest travel e-commerce companies in the world. Part of The Priceline Group (NASDAQ: PCLN), Booking.com now employs more than 15,000 employees in 204 offices in 70 countries worldwide.
With a mission to empower people to experience the world, Booking.com invests in digital technology that helps take the friction out of travel. At Booking.com, we connect travelers with the world’s largest selection of incredible places to stay, including everything from apartments, vacation homes, and family-run B&Bs to 5-star luxury resorts, tree houses and even igloos. The Booking.com website and mobile apps are available in 43 languages, offer over 1.5 million properties, and cover more than 120,000 destinations in 229 countries and territories worldwide.
Each day, more than 1.5 million room nights are reserved on our platform. So whether traveling for business or leisure, customers can instantly book their ideal accommodations quickly and easily with Booking.com, without booking fees and backed up by our promise to price match. Through our customer experience team, customers can reach Booking.com 24/7 for assistance and support in 43 languages, any time of the day or night.