Booking.com has announced the sustainable tourism startups receiving scaling grants as part of its 2019 Booking Booster accelerator program today. Now in its third year, the three-week accelerator program consists of a series of lectures, hands-on workshops and coaching sessions led entirely by Booking.com employees and experts.
The 10 startups that participated in the 2019 programme hail from eight 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
The program culminates in a final pitch to receive a scaling grant of up to EUR 500k (USD 562,000) from Booking.com’s EUR 2 million fund in order to help support the next stage of the startups’ projected growth.
“I’m so proud of each and every one of these passionate change-makers”
“I am so impressed by the incredible dedication of these amazing startups and the innovative solutions they are developing to protect communities and resources in every corner of the globe,” said Gillian Tans, president and CEO of Booking.com.
We have long believed that technology is a powerful instrument for good, including when it comes to sustainable travel. I’m so proud of each and every one of these passionate change-makers and am looking forward to following their progress and supporting them as they seek to transform their visions into reality, helping to keep the destinations that we all love happy and healthy for decades to come.”
“We have the power to make a difference every single day”
Presenting the keynote remarks to kick off the finale to the 2019 Booking Booster, Livia Firth, founder and creative director of Eco-Age and 2019 Booking Booster Ambassador urged everyone to do their part in actively supporting sustainability and innovation in this space: “Sustainability is an ecosystem of moving parts and we all need to play our role.
Whoever we are and wherever we work – whether in startups, established companies, policy makers or members of government – we have the power to make a difference every single day. Today we know that we can also make a huge difference when we book a trip”.
Commenting on their experience in the program, Rodrigo Atuesta, co-founder and CEO of IMPULSE Travel said, “With this funding and the incredible support we have received from Booking.com we will continue to rewrite the narcos history of Colombia by engaging 17,000 international travelers in tours that are creating a market-driven peace building movement in 40 communities in Colombia. Make tours, not war.”