Booking.com Announces the 10 Sustainable Tourism Startups Joining the 2019 Booking Booster Accelerator Program
Social enterprises from 9 countries around the world will pitch for scaling grants of up to €500k from Booking.com’s €2 million Booster fund for innovation in sustainable tourism
Singapore – 4 March, 2019 – Today Booking.com, one of the world’s leading digital travel platforms, announced the 10 sustainable tourism startups that will be joining the 2019 Booking Booster Program in Amsterdam in April and May 2019. Now in its third year, 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 seeing the calibre of innovative entrepreneurship in the sustainable tourism sector continue to evolve and mature,” said Gillian Tans, President and CEO of Booking.com. “The diversity of perspectives that are represented with this year’s Booster finalists and the creative ways they are leveraging technology to grow and maximize their impact is truly inspiring. I’m very much looking forward to getting to know these changemakers better and learning more about their inventive plans to transform the future of travel.”
With hundreds of applicants from all over the world, the 10 startups joining the 2019 program hail from 9 different countries and operate collectively across virtually the entire globe. Their businesses also represent a diverse mix of models and solutions, including products that leverage technology to facilitate environmental and wildlife conservation at scale, as well as platforms that empower at-risk communities to thrive through their inclusive approach to tourism.
“True sustainability goes beyond just making an informed purchase or a one-off action,” commented Livia Firth, Founder and Creative Director of Eco-Age and 2019 Booking Booster Ambassador. “It’s about a holistic approach to doing business that takes the entire supply chain and community into account. It’s exciting to be a part of Booking.com’s efforts to support and fund inspiring startups that are working to make sustainable travel - in all of its forms - an accessible reality that truly benefits travellers, local communities and the planet.”
The 10 Finalists of the 2019 Booking Booster Accelerator Program
Avy | Netherlands
Avy is a drones-for-good company, building long-range wing drones to deliver medicines, protect wildlife, and conserve nature.
Clean Travel | Australia
Clean Travel's innovative software platform helps local ethical travel operators manage their business and reach a global audience.
Hydrao | France
Hydrao provides smart demand-management solutions for water conservation and management.
I Like Local | Netherlands
I Like Local is an impact travel marketplace that connects travelers with local people in developing countries in order to to provide authentic experiences to travelers and an extra source of income for local hosts.
IMPULSE Travel | Colombia
Impulse is a regenerative tourism platform for in-destination experiences, offering more than 200 tours and activities in seven locations in Colombia.
NotOnMap | India
NotOnMap empowers communities and creates a livelihood for marginalized, vulnerable people in rural areas through the preservation of culture and heritage, connecting travelers with unique, differentiated experiences.
Okra Solar | Australia
Okra’s innovative technology will transform the energy market and provide affordable energy access for the 1.2 billion people living off-grid.
The Picha Project | Malaysia
The Picha Project promotes cultural heritage by empowering refugees to share authentic traditional food from their homeland with the public.
SASANE Sisterhood Trekking and Travel provides socially responsible tourism by training local women that are survivors of human trafficking as trekking and tour guides to lead tours through rural mountain villages in Nepal.
Sumba Hospitality Foundation | Indonesia
Sumba Hospitality Foundation promotes responsible tourism, combining a hotel school for underprivileged youth with a luxury eco-resort for travelers wanting to contribute to a better world.
All the participating social enterprises will receive a 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 future growth for the participating scale-ups, including projects undertaken together with the Booking Cares Volunteer Program.
In helping travellers to explore and experience more than 145,000 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.
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 over 200 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 28 million total reported listings, including more than 5.7 million listings of homes, apartments and other unique places to stay, and covers more than 146,000 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 place to stay 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 over 43 languages, any time of the day or night.