Booking.com create accelerator program for green startups!
Here at The Swash we are passionate about finding sustainable and eco-friendly ways of travelling and seeing the world whilst still being environmentally conscious. It’s no small feat but it is possible. It’s being made much more accessible by big brands and travelling companies sharing that same mentality.
Booking.com have been in the hotel room booking industry for just over 20 years. In that time they’ve had a lot of experience in understanding the change of peoples booking patterns. There is a trend for people looking to stay in hotels that have a green policy, are self-sustained and/or committed to recycling.
With this knowledge in hand the site has set up an accelerator program called Booking.com Booster. Which is geared specifically towards identifying, mentoring and funding environmentally-conscious startups from around the world. The program began in June 2017 in Amsterdam and the three-week program saw companies and brands pitch for up to €500,000 from Booking.com. Carrying on from that success the company is now opening it up to smaller startups too. Newer, small-scale startups can compete for grants up to €25,000, known as ‘Booking Booster Labs’. They consist of, ‘weekend programmes for early-stage startups in sustainable tourism, focused on exploring experimentation and growth hacking initiatives together with Booking.com experts’. The same €500,000 is available for larger startups looking to scale their impact with the original ‘Booking Booster’.
‘startups that positively impact the environment’
The reasoning for this injection of investment into environment based startups? Booking.com state that, ‘tourism has delivered enormous benefits to communities all over the world. It has helped bring millions out of poverty and contributed to increased understanding between diverse people and cultures in every corner of the globe. We’re looking for ventures that are supporting local communities in the tourism industry, businesses that help relieve pressure on overcrowded tourist areas and startups that positively impact the environment.’
This is a significant investment for any startup company and one that comes with a fantastic mentor to boot. It’s like a green/environment-orientated version of Dragon’s Den! “We’re in.”
With more and more big companies helping to push the hotelier industry towards sustainability and also helping out the guys starting at the bottom; we can only see good things coming in the future for the eco-tourism sector. For inspiration on eco-conscious hotels already taking bookings then take a look at The Zetter.
By Andrew Bishop