Travel platform Booking.com is making moves to drive the tourism industry towards a more sustainable model with the launch of a new accelerator program, Booking.com Booster. Designed to identify, mentor and fund enterprising startups from around the world that are seeking to have a positive impact on the global tourism industry, the three-week program taking place in June 2017 in Amsterdam will culminate in a chance to pitch for grants of up to $538,000 from Booking.com.
The accelerator is an extension of the company’s Booking.com Cares program, an internal company initiative where employees partner with local NGOs on sustainable tourism initiatives that help improve destinations worldwide, and was created to support startups dedicated to sustainable tourism in the following areas: protecting the environment, preserving cultural heritage and/or promoting inclusive growth in tourism that supports and develops local economies and communities.
“At Booking.com, our mission is to empower people to experience the world,” said Gillian Tans, CEO of Booking.com. “There are thousands of beautiful, unique destinations to explore in every corner of the globe, but that’s not something we should take for granted. Through Booking.com Booster, we want to help ventures in sustainable tourism accelerate their growth in order to maximize the impact they can have globally. By identifying and funding these outstanding startups, sharing our expertise and working together, we can explore and learn how best to protect the future of the destinations we love so much so that our great-great-grandchildren can continue to enjoy them for years to come.”
The booster program has been co-designed with partner organization Impact Hub and will consist of a series of workshops, lectures and coaching sessions with industry experts, as well as the opportunity to pitch for grants from Booking.com’s fund. In addition, the small group of selected startups that participate will also receive several months of weekly mentoring from expert Booking.com sponsors following the accelerator program in Amsterdam.
For more information about the Booking.com Booster Program, including details on how to apply, please visit Booking.com/booster. Booking.com is accepting applications from interested startups from across the world until March 1, 2017.