Sustainable tourism start-ups are being given the chance to pitch for grants worth up to €500,000.
A new Booking.com accelerator initiative is designed to identify, mentor and fund enterprising new businesses from around the world that are seeking to have a positive impact on the global tourism industry.
A three-week Booking.com Booster scheme taking place in June in Amsterdam will culminate in a chance to pitch for the grants from the online accommodation platform.
The aim of the booster programme is to support start-ups dedicated to sustainable tourism in the areas of protecting the environment, preserving cultural heritage and/or promoting inclusive growth in tourism that supports and develops local economies and communities.
It is an extension of the company’s internal Booking.com Cares initiative where employees partner with local NGOs on projects that help improve destinations worldwide.
The Amsterdam activity has been co-designed with partner organisation 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.
The small group of selected start-ups that participate will also receive several months of weekly follow-up mentoring from expert Booking.com sponsors.
Chief executive, Gillian Tans, said: “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 maximise the impact they can have globally.
“By identifying and funding these outstanding start-ups, 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.”
Booking.com is accepting applications from interested start-ups from across the world until March 1 at booking.com/booster.