's 3-week sustainable tourism accelerator programme and €2 million zero-equity fund.


Asked Questions

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I. What is the Booking Booster?’s 3-week accelerator programme and €2 million fund to support scale-ups to grow their sustainable tourism venture.

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II. Who can apply for the Booking Booster?

Any scale-up that is seeking a positive impact in sustainable tourism; growth ventures that benefit the environment, preserve or promote cultural heritage, help spread tourism or seek to promote inclusive growth in tourism are eligible to apply.

To make our shortlist you should:

  • Have a proven business model with demonstrable local impact and a readiness to scale to multiple destinations;

  • Want to be part of a community of startups that are turning tourism into a force for good; and

  • Be open to learn from and share experiences with other startups, working together with to have more impact in the sector.

Startups need to generate revenue, but no more than €1.5 million (or local currency equivalent) annually and must be registered as a for-profit business to apply.

All applicants must be fluent in English and should check their availability before applying for the Booking Booster. If you are unable to attend the Booster Programme for three weeks in May with two representatives, then you shouldn’t apply.

Application and, if applicable, participation in the Booster Programme is free of charge. See the Terms & Conditions for more details. 

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III. What is the prize?

Selected scale-ups will be invited to attend the three-week accelerator programme, have a dedicated mentor, enjoy access to a pool of additional experts, as well as training on business and impact scaling. Additionally, all startups will receive ongoing mentorship for up to 12 months after the end of the programme and ongoing access to the volunteer programme. Finally, the top scale-ups will be awarded a share of the €2 million fund.  

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IV. How do I become a finalist?

Apply with our application form and upload the necessary materials before December 2, 2018. If shortlisted, you will also be asked to participate in a phone interview. Finally, if selected to join the programme, you will have to submit requested due diligence documentation on which your participation is pending.

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V. Who can I contact for technical issues with my application?

You can contact for any technical issues with your application. For any questions on the content of the form or your responses, you can contact our team directly at 

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 VI. Why is doing this?

In helping travellers to explore and experience more than 143,000 unique destinations all over the world, also seeks to contribute to the ongoing health of these same destinations so that future generations can continue to enjoy them for years to come. With the Booster programme, will identify, mentor and help fund promising startups that are seeking to have an innovative, positive impact on the global tourism industry.

This is an extension of the work we’ve been doing for the past four years as part of our Cares Volunteer Programme, contributing our time and expertise to help improve destinations worldwide. Through our Cares Volunteer Programme, employees are involved in projects sponsored by our NGO partners all across the globe. Employees can work on something that matters to the local community and at the same time has a real impact on making tourism in our destinations (more) sustainable. employees have spent time preserving natural resources, such as beach clean-ups and national park maintenance, as well as helping to protect endangered wildlife species indigenous to specific destinations. We have supported organisations that are promoting and preserving cultural heritage by volunteering at events supporting culture or at monuments and landmarks that make a destination special. We have also volunteered our time and expertise supporting organisations that support inclusive growth by making sure that local communities and areas are able to benefit and make a healthy living through tourism. This includes supporting a tour operator that employs former homeless people as tour guides or a volunteering with a hotel that has employees former refugees as two-thirds of their staff.

With the Booster Programme, will back a select group of social enterprise startups with financial support in the form of grants of €100-500k, and support them with valuable expertise throughout a 3-week accelerator programme in Amsterdam, along with ongoing mentoring and coaching. The focus is on helping startups with demonstrable impact in the sustainable tourism sector in one (or all) of the following areas to scale their business and impact globally: positively impacting  the environment, relieving pressure on overcrowded tourist areas and/or supporting local communities in the tourism industry.

By investing our time, expertise and capital into these promising social enterprise startups, can help work together with them towards a more sustainable future for the global travel industry.

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 VII. What are the judging criteria?

The judges will review applications keeping the following categories in mind:

  1. Positive impact on tourism;

  2. Innovation;

  3. Growth Strategy;

  4. Financials;

  5. Team and Leadership.

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VIII. What stages and dates are key to the programme? 

The global application process opens: 09.00 CET 1 November 2018

Applications close: 23.59 CET on 2 December 2018

Candidate Shortlisted Entrepreneurs are contacted for an interview: By 24 December 2018

Phone interviews: Between 7 and 18 January 2019

Shortlisted Entrepreneurs confirmed and invited to the 2.5-week Booster Programme: 1 February 2019

Shortlisted Entrepreneurs attend 2.5-week Booster Programme in Amsterdam: 23 April to 10 May 2019

Final Pitch and value of grants announced: 10 May 2019

*dates may be altered by the Promoter

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IX. Does take equity?

No, does not take any equity from your business. The financial support given will be in the form of a grant. In return, will request updates on how your business and impact of your efforts are growing for up to 3 years after the completion of the programme. We will use this information on the programme website and other external channels. 

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