Booking.com is to extend its Booking Booster Program into a second year, aimed at funding startups that are engaged in sustainable tourism.
Building on a successful debut year, the Priceline Group-owned OTA confirms will, for 2018, include a series of weekend programs for early-stage startups and a new €2 million fund for non-profit projects innovating in sustainable tourism.
In 2017, nearly 700 startups with teams from 102 nationalities applied to join the program.
Last year, the Backstreet Academy took home the top grant of €400,000, which was used to increase their scaling plans. The Backstreet Academy also won €10,000 in credits from Booking.com for future stays.
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Other honorees included Australian company Seabin (who was granted €350,000), Authenticook (who was granted €200,000), and Desolenator (who was granted €150,000).
The three-week growth accelerator program allows companies in various stages of development to apply for grants to "boost" their presence.
Companies that are in the early stages can apply for grants worth up to €25,000, and participate in weekend programs called the Booster Labs which will focus on the company's growth.
Later stage companies, on the other hand, can apply for grants worth up to €500,000, and participate in the Booking Booster, which is a three-week accelerator program that helps the company grow.
The next round will see the premiere of Booking.com's Booking Cares Fund, which is a separate €2 million grant program that looks to engage "individual non-profit changemakers in sustainable tourism" and support its search for new and unexpected solutions to "strengthen local communities, preserve and promote culture, protect natural resources and spread tourism activities more evenly".