Booking Cares Fund Kick-off Programme
This week, the 5 first-ever recipients of the Booking Cares Fund gathered together in Amsterdam to kick off the Booking Cares Fund programme. These 5 changemakers were selected for their industry-disrupting projects that displayed their potential for demonstrable impact and meaningful change. With the addition of the Booking Cares Fund, we seek to support important players in different sectors throughout the entire sustainable tourism ecosystem.
Recipients were invited to a 2 day kickoff programme in Amsterdam that included mentoring sessions, lightning talks, and much more. Our 5 changemakers spent the last two days perfecting their project plans with the help of their dedicated Booking.com mentor and Booking.com experts.
Getting to know each other
On day 1, the changemakers arrived to our Booking.com office in the centre of Amsterdam and spent the morning getting to know each other (you can get to know them here!), Booking.com and Booking Cares. In the afternoon, they met their dedicated Booking.com mentor for the first time to spend some quality time working on their project, discussing potential opportunities, as well as potential pitfalls and how to improve them. Key to the Booking Cares Fund, this mentorship will continue for the coming months, harnessing the experience of Booking.com's best to help these projects create their maximum impact and change in the industry. After a fruitful day, the entire group wound down over some good food and drinks.
Back for the second and last day, the changemakers faced a rigorous morning - 3 back to back 45 minute sessions with our pool of experts. The recipients were matched with experts from three distinct fields based on their individual needs, and during these sessions, were able to deep dive into these topics. Full of information, advise and guidance, the changemakers sat once more with their mentors, organising their thoughts and inserting the morning's learnings into an updated project plan.
At the end of the day, all came together to celebrate the start of these projects and this community. After each recipient spoke about his or her biggest takeaways from the two days, the mentors each presented his or her recipient with their check and stood by them as they signed for the acceptance of their grant. Over the next year, these recipients will continue to work with their Booking.com mentors and receive extra support via our volunteer programme. We are excited to see how, with the help of the Booking Cares Fund, these projects can disrupt the sustainable travel industry and create meaningful impact.
With all said and done, the mentors, changemakers and programme team made their way through the canals of Amsterdam by boat to celebrate their success and toast to the future.