Booking.com Announces the 10 Startups that will Join its 2018 Accelerator Programme in Sustainable Tourism
Social enterprises with operations across six continents will pitch for scaling grants of up to €500k as part of the Booking.com Booster Programme
SINGAPORE – 1 MARCH, 2018 – Today Booking.com, one of the world’s largest e-commerce companies and digital technology leader, announced the 10 sustainable tourism startups that will be joining the 2018 Booking Booster Programme in Amsterdam in May 2018. Building upon its successful launch in 2017, the three-week accelerator program consists of a series of lectures, hands-on workshops and coaching, culminating in a final pitch to receive a scaling grant of up to €500k from Booking.com’s €2 million fund in order to help support the next stage of the startups’ projected growth.
“We’re thrilled with the 10 inventive startups joining us in Amsterdam this spring,” said Gillian Tans, CEO of Booking.com. “The relationships we build with these passionate entrepreneurs not only help fuel their continued growth, but also invigorate and inspire our entire company. Our aim is to build a network of like-minded organisations and individuals that are leveraging technology to create a more sustainable future for destinations worldwide. Through our collective commitment, we are striving to ensure that we can keep the unique destinations we all love happy and healthy for generations to come.”
With hundreds of applicants from all over the world, the 10 startups joining the 2018 programme hail from six different countries and operate collectively across six continents, including Antarctica. Their businesses also represent a diverse mix of innovative online marketplaces that connect travellers with inclusive travel experiences, cutting-edge technology solutions and initiatives that empower local communities to benefit more equally from the global tourism opportunity.
In the region, four Asian startups have made the programme: Community Homestay Network (Nepal), Global Himalayan Expedition (India), Sakha Consulting Wings: Women on Wheels (India) and HiveSters (Thailand).
“Participating in the Booking.com Booster Programme means a possibility of offering Sakha an opportunity to fulfill its potential. We hope to gain new knowledge, new networks, new funds and equipped with all of it, we hope to reach out to hundreds of more women enabling them to break barriers and take on non-traditional livelihoods that can potentially transform their lives. We are very excited at this possibility and thank Booking.com for inviting us for the learning camp,” said Meenu Vadera, Founder of Sakha Consulting Wings.
The six other participants include:
Hotel Con Corazón (Netherlands: Operating in Nicaragua)
Keteka (United States: Operating in Central and South America, Antarctica)
Tastemakers (United States: Operating in Africa)
Wheel the World (United States)
All the participating 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.
Together with the recently launched Booster Labs and the Booking Cares Fund, the Booking Booster Programme sits alongside Booking.com’s internal volunteer programme, where employees have long partnered with local organisations on projects that help improve destinations worldwide. Together these initiatives make up and further expand Booking.com’s Booking Cares commitment and further the company’s mission to make a positive impact globally.
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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 Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG), Booking.com now employs more than 17,000 employees in 198 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 travellers 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 1.6 million properties, and cover more than 128,000 destinations in 228 countries and territories worldwide.
Each day, more than 1.5 million room nights are reserved on our platform. So whether travelling for business or leisure, customers can instantly book their ideal accommodation quickly and easily with Booking.com, without booking fees and backed up by our promise to price match. Via 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.