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Sumba startup among Booking Booster's finalists

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Mon, March 11, 2019  /  07:07 am
Sumba startup among Booking Booster's finalists

Sumba Hospitality Foundation from Sumba, East Nusa Tenggara, has been selected as one of the finalists in the 2019 Booking Booster, a social training program for travel startup companies organized by online travel platform Booking.com. (Booking.com/File)

Sumba Hospitality Foundation from Sumba, East Nusa Tenggara, has been selected as one of the finalists in the 2019 Booking Booster, a social training program for travel startup companies organized by online travel platform Booking.com.

Along with participants from nine countries, the startup company will join the program in Amsterdam in April and May.

Participants can expect a series of lectures, workshops and training sessions in the three-week program, followed by the opportunity to make a proposal to gain funding up to 500,000 euros (US$566,676).  

“The diversity of perspectives represented by Booking Boster’s finalists this year, along with their creativity to utilize technology and maximize its impact, is so inspiring,” said Gillian Tans, president and CEO of Booking.com.

Read also: Italy leads the way in Booking.com 2018 Guest Review Awards

In its third iteration this year, the program drew hundreds of entries. The 10 finalists operate in businesses that make use of technology to facilitate environmental conservation, as well as utilizing platforms to empower communities through inclusive tourism approaches.

The Sumba Hospitality Foundation is a resort-school that provides hospitality training for young residents in Sumba.

Inge de Lathauwer, founder of the Sumba Hospitality Foundation, said, “This is a big leap for our organization: the expertise and guidance from Booking.com is the stepping stone we’ve been looking for to improve a responsible tourism model. Our team is very excited for this amazing opportunity.”

Other startup companies that will join the program include Okra Solar (Australia), which provides affordable renewable energy for 1.2 billion people in secluded areas; SASANE Sisterhood Trekking and Travel (Nepal), which aims to create responsible tourism by training local women who were victims of trafficking to become trekking and tour guides; and The Picha Project (Malaysia), which empowers refugees to share authentic traditional cuisine with the public. (wng)