1. Why is Booking.com doing this?

2. Who can apply to the Booking Booster Labs?

3. How many people from each startup can go to the Booster Labs?

4. What is the expected outcome of the Booster Labs weekend?

5. What happens after the Booster Lab?

6. What is covered by Booking.com for the Booster Labs?

7. Will Booking.com support me if I need a visa to travel to Barcelona for the Booster Labs?


1. Why is Booking.com doing this?

In helping travellers to explore and experience more than 100,000 unique destinations all over the world, Booking.com 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 Booking.com Booster programme, Booking.com 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 three years as part of our Booking.com Cares Volunteer Programme, contributing our time and expertise to help improve destinations worldwide. Through our Cares Volunteer Programme, Booking.com 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.

Booking.com 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 Booking.com Booster Programme, Booking.com 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 booster 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: protecting the environment, preserving cultural heritage and/or promoting inclusive growth in tourism that supports and develops local economies and communities.

With our Booster Labs, we are taking our Booking Booster on the road - with programmes taking place in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North America. Over the course of a weekend, early-stage startups will have the chance to learn from experts in startup growth and sustainable tourism, and be paired with the very best mentors from Booking.com to provide guidance and support as they learn the ropes of growing their businesses. Surrounded by passionate people and with the best tools and approaches at their disposal, the startups will take the necessary steps to achieve more scale and deliver measurable impact. The weekend will culminate in a pitch on the startup's roadmap and impact before an expert jury with the chance to win grants between €10,000 and € 25,000. The first Booster Lab will take place in Barcelona from December 1 - 3.

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

 

2. Who can apply to the Booster Labs?

We are looking for startups that wish to turn tourism into a force for good, specifically in two areas:

  • Destination Unlocked: Innovative solutions to overcrowding that prevent negative economic, environmental and sociocultural effects associated with mass tourism.

  • Local Communities: Promoting inclusive growth that supports and develops local economies and communities.

The startups must be registered in Europe with a proven MVP (minimum viable product) or prototype that has been validated with customers.

 

3. How many people from each startup can go to the Booster Labs?

If selected, two representatives from each startup (with one being the CEO or a Co-Founder) are required to participate in the programme.

 

4. What is the expected outcome of the Booster Labs weekend?

Over the course of the weekend, the startups will build on their skillsets and toolbox in order to put what they learned over the weekend into practice after they leave.

The weekend will culminate in a pitch on the startup’s roadmap and impact before an expert jury with the chance to win grants between €10,000 and € 25,000, as well as other prizes. Booking.com will decide on the granting of funds and allocation of prizes.

 

5. What happens after the Booster Lab?

The startups that receive a grant following their final pitch will be asked to update Booking.com on their business progress and measured impact. To support in this, the startups will receive up to 3-6 months of ongoing mentorship from Booking.com mentors.

 

6. What is covered by Booking.com for the Booster Labs?

Accommodation will be covered by Booking.com. Travel to and from Barcelona will also be covered, but will be capped at 500 euro per person. Booking.com will provide food and beverages throughout the entire weekend.


 

7. Will Booking.com support me if I need a visa to travel to Barcelona for the Booster Labs?

All participants must be able to organise their own visas if needed, at their own costs.