Booking.com, one of the world’s largest travel e-commerce companies and a digital technology leader, announced an expansion of its Booking.com Booster Programme to identify, mentor and support startups in sustainable tourism. Taking place in Barcelona on December 1-3, 2017, the first Booster Lab will kick off a series of short, regionally-focussed weekend programmes that are slated to run globally throughout 2018.
With the Booking.com Booster Labs, Booking.com’s aim is to identify even more startups at an earlier stage in their development and provide them with the mentoring and financial support they need to explore innovative growth initiatives, ultimately empowering them to scale their impact in local destinations even further.
Over the course of the weekend, a select group of ten to 15 European startups will be invited to Barcelona to participate in hands-on workshops and lectures presented by experts in startup growth and sustainable tourism. They will also be paired with Booking.com mentors to provide guidance and support as they explore growth-hacking opportunities for their businesses. The weekend programme culminates with each start-up pitching their proposed roadmap to a jury of industry experts to win grants of between €10,000 and €25,000.
“We have been so inspired by the sustainable tourism startups we’ve been working with this year as part of our Booster programme that we wanted to expand our efforts to support those at the very beginning of their enterprise journey,” said Gillian Tans, CEO of Booking.com. “By sharing our expertise and providing financial support to social enterprises on a more regional level, we can reach a larger pool of like-minded startups at an earlier stage in their development. These weekend Booster Labs will amplify our collective impact and enable us to reach even more destinations worldwide as we work together towards a more sustainable future for the global travel industry.”
In empowering travellers to experience more than 120,000 unique destinations all over the world, Booking.com is also committed to contributing to the ongoing health of these same destinations so that future generations can continue to enjoy them for years to come. To support that vision, the Booster Programme will focus on two key opportunities in sustainable tourism: innovative solutions to overcrowding that prevent undesirable economic, environmental and socio-cultural effects associated with mass tourism, and business concepts which promote inclusive growth that supports and develops local economies and communities.
For more information about the Booking.com Booster Lab in Barcelona, including details on how to apply, please visit https://booster.bookingcares.com/ . Booking.com is accepting applications from interested early-stage startups from throughout Europe until October 15, 2017.