The partnership coincides with the kickoff of the season of giving, and shortly after the release of new research studies about consumer desire for sustainable travel.
Compelling recent findings propelling the travel industry to adopt sustainable practices to meet the needs of today’s travelers include:
- 58 percent of Condé Nast Traveler readers surveyed said they would choose a hotel based on whether the hotel gives back to local people and the planet (CREST)
- 40 percent of respondents agreed they would pay higher rates to use travel service providers that demonstrate environmental sustainability (Skift)
- 72 percent of all travelers report that it’s important that their travel spending help the communities they visit (Tourism Cares)
While demand for sustainable travel experiences grow, Impact Travel Alliance’s 2018 Bringing Sustainable Tourism to the Masses study found that “of those who want to travel sustainably, more than one third (35 percent) found it difficult, and half didn’t know how.”
To make sustainable getaway choices easy and transparent for conscientious travelers, Steller’s inventive storytelling app and community of 500,000 members in 189 countries invites travelers to take an educational, insiders’ journey into what it looks like to ‘Travel Kindly,’ by giving back to destinations and causes when booking hotels on Kind Traveler. A designated collection featured on Steller’s explore page showcases and highlights Kind Traveler’s getaways.
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With Kind Traveler’s ‘Give + Get’ hotel booking platform, travelers get exclusive hotel rates and perks from curated hotels when they give a $10 nightly donation to either a local charity that positively impacts the visiting destination, or to a charity of choice. 100 percent of donations go to charity, creating a triple win amongst the hotel, traveler and charity.
For example, when booking The Ranch in Laguna Beach — a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World — on Kind Traveler, a $10 nightly donation to Ocean Institute will unlock exclusive hotel rates and provide supplies for children’s ocean education programs. Through the unique storytelling features on Steller, travelers will witness through photos and videos the type of impact that is possible with a $10 donation, along with any short-term volunteer or philanthropic opportunities that may be available.
“The partnership between Steller and Kind Traveler will provide inspiration and an actionable pathway to empower travelers to foster sustainable travel experiences,” said Kind Traveler CEO and co-founder Jessica Blotter, a Public Benefit Corporation. “Through this inspiration, travelers can draw an emotional connection to the act of giving back when they travel, creating a more memorable, meaningful, and values-aligned vacation experience.”
Steller’s award-winning storytelling app is built around a community of travelers and adventurers sharing their experiences and inspiring travelers across the globe. With over two million users from 189 countries, the Steller community has become a trustworthy source of travel inspiration and recommendations.
“Kind Traveler represents the future of sustainable, responsible and conscious tourism, and Steller’s global community representing 189 countries will serve as an ideal platform to encourage travelers to make travel decisions that serve local communities and the environment,” said Bangs, who is also part of the founding executive team of Expedia; as well as an author and filmmaker.
Kind Traveler’s collection of 10 getaways that empower travelers to give back to local communities features recently launched hotels, local charities and destinations to the Kind Traveler platform:
- Belize: Ka’ana Resort; donations fund the Cayo Animal Welfare Society
- Costa Rica: Casa Chameleon Las Catalinas; donations fund Alfalit International
- Florida Keys: Baker’s Cay Resort Key Largo, Curio Collection by Hilton; donations fund The Everglades Foundation
- Idaho: Hotel Ketchum; donations fund the Hunger Coalition
- Jamaica: Jamaica Inn; donations fund the Jamaica Inn Foundation
- Maldives: Hurawalhi Island Resort; donations fund the Manta Trust Foundation
- Miami: Carillon Miami Wellness Resort; donations fund Wellness in the Schools
- Orange County: The Ranch in Laguna Beach; donations fund the Ocean Institute
- Sonoma: h2hotel; donations fund Russian Riverkeeper
- Seattle: Thompson Seattle; donations fund the Pike’s Place Market Foundation
Beyond the first collection of 10 Steller stories, new stories will be created weekly to inspire ways to ‘travel kindly’ by featuring additional hotels that have joined the Kind Traveler movement in the last 60 days:
- Baltimore, MD: Lord Baltimore
- Costa Rica: Cala Luna Boutique Hotel & Villas
- Italy: Il Borro Relais Chateaux
- Los Angeles, CA: The Mayfair Hotel
- Maldives: Kudadoo Private Island
- Mexico: Chablé Maroma, Chablé Yucatan
- San Francisco, CA: Galleria Park Hotel, Virgin Hotels San Francisco
- Scottsdale, AZ: The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch
- Sonoma, CA: Harmon Guest House, Timber Cove Resort
- Tampa, FL: The Godfrey Hotel & Cabanas