Europe/Amsterdam Reveals Winners of #BookingHero Competition uncovers unforgettable travel experiences in Scotland, New York and Sri Lanka that highlight acts of extraordinary hospitality

LONDON, UK — MARCH 21, 2018 — What do a dream wedding in New York, an adventure through the mountains of Sri Lanka and a family’s search for their roots in Scotland all have in common? All saw a hospitality professional going out of their way to make or save someone’s trip and today, the global leader in connecting travelers with the widest choice of incredible places to stay, is sharing their stories with the world as the winners of its first-ever Booking Hero competition.

Following thousands of submissions via social media, have selected the three most touching and inspiring accounts of hospitality professionals going above and beyond to create unique and unforgettable travel experiences for their guests. The customers were then flown back to surprise their Heroes in person and to say thank you for making (and saving) their trips, with all the emotional reunions caught live on camera. is now showcasing these stories and sharing them with the world: including a B&B owner in Scotland who helped a Canadian customer find the house where his father was born before immigrating to North America; a hotel receptionist who came to the rescue and saved a Belgian bride’s dream photo shoot in Central Park; and a pregnant host about to give birth in Sri Lanka who kept her homestay open to care for an injured hiker from the Netherlands.

Booking Hero grand prize winners of €25,000 in travel credit on

Karen, Owner of Blackburn Villa B&B in Ayr, Scotland

Nominated by David and Virginia from Canada

Booking Hero runners-up winning €5,000 in travel credit on

Sudarshi, Owner of Tunnel Gap Homestay in Ella, Sri Lanka

Nominated by Harry and Nienke from the Netherlands

Booking Hero runners-up winning €5,000 in travel credit on

Alina, Receptionist at citizenM Hotel in New York City, USA

Nominated by Els and Kevin from Belgium

“These stunning stories are testament to the incredible dedication, commitment and passion that our partners put into creating truly memorable experiences for travelers day in and day out,” said Pepijn Rijvers, CMO, “They beautifully demonstrate that an amazing trip is about more than simply finding the right destination or the perfect accommodation—it’s also about the people you meet along the way which truly make for an unforgettable journey. And that’s what travel is all about.”

According to recent research conducted by across 25 markets in 2017, a personal connection is essential for many travelers with 29% saying that an accommodation feeling like home is key and 24% sharing that a welcoming host is a make or break factor during the first 24 hours of their trip.

Here is what our grand prize nominees and winner had to say:

“We were looking for the house where my dad was born, with the aim of finding some living Alexanders and stayed at the Blackburn Villa. We’d been there for two weeks and didn’t realise how close we were to our roots.” – David and Virginia, Canada

“I don’t think what I did was that special, but I made them really happy and that made me happy. You really do make friends in this business - you might think it’s all just people through the door, but it’s not.” – Karen, Owner of Blackburn Villa B&B in Ayr, Scotland is launching these winning Booking Heroes stories today as the heart of a new campaign on social media with long-form video content that extends the #BookingHero message, with TV to follow.



For further information, contact the UK Press Office: / 020 3755 6400


Established in 1996 in Amsterdam, 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 (NASDAQ: BKNG), now employs more than 17,000 employees in 198 offices in 70 countries worldwide.

With a mission to empower people to experience the world, invests in digital technology that helps take the friction out of travel. At, 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 website and mobile apps are available in over 43 languages, offer over 1.7 million properties, and cover more than 125,000 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, without booking fees and backed up by our promise to price match. Via our customer experience team, customers can reach 24/7 for assistance and support in 43 languages, any time of the day or night.

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