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Two Indian entities Selected to Join Booking.com’s 2018 Accelerator Programme

Global Himalayan Expedition (GHE) organizes impact expeditions to provide clean energy and digital education access to the remote mountain communities of the Himalayas, helping to put them on the map for future travellers to explore.

Photo Credit : ShutterStock,

Booking.com, the global leader in connecting travellers with the widest choice of incredible places to stay, announced the ten sustainable tourism start-ups that will be joining the 2018 Booking Booster Programme in Amsterdam in May. For the first time, two Indian entities – Global Himalayan Expedition and Sakha Consulting Wings, Women on Wheels have been shortlisted to join the program and pitch for grants up to €500,000 from Booking.com’s €2 million fund. In its second year, the focus of the programme is to identify, mentor and fund enterprising start-ups from around the world that are seeking to create a positive impact on the global tourism industry. Like last year, this year also the programme received hundreds of applications from across the world.

Commenting on the ten start-ups, Gillian Tans, CEO. Booking.com, said “We’re thrilled with the ten inventive startups joining us in Amsterdam this spring. The relationships we build with these passionate entrepreneurs not only help fuel their continued growth, but also invigorate and inspire our entire company. Our aim is to build a network of like-minded organisations and individuals that are leveraging technology to create a more sustainable future for destinations worldwide. Though our collective commitment, we are striving to ensure that we can keep the unique destinations we all love happy and healthy for generations to come.”

Global Himalayan Expedition (GHE) organizes impact expeditions to provide clean energy and digital education access to the remote mountain communities of the Himalayas, helping to put them on the map for future travellers to explore.

Sakha Consulting is a unique social enterprise, launched to provide safe transport solutions for women by women in selected cities in India, providing livelihoods with dignity in professional driving to resource poor women as part of the “Women on Wheels” (WOW) initiative.

“Booking.com’s Booster Programme will be a great platform for GHE to build upon our work in the Himalayas, learn from experts and scale this initiative across various remote geographies of the world” said Paras Loomba, Founder Global Himalayan Expedition.

“To me, it means a world of possibilities and opens up several avenues for young start-ups like ours towards growth. To be a part of the cohort of the Booking.com Booster Programme, it is an absolute privilege and we look forward to learning not just from Booking.com but also the fellow startups” said, Jaideep Bansal, Energy Access Leader, Global Himalayan Expedition.

According to Meenu Vadera, Founder, Sakha Consulting Wings: Women on Wheels, “Participating in the Booking.com Booster Programme means a possibility of offering Sakha an opportunity to fulfill its potential. We hope to gain new knowledge, new networks, new funds and equipped with all of it, we hope to reach out to hundreds of more women enabling them to break barriers and take on non-traditional livelihoods that can potentially transform their lives. We are very excited at this possibility and thank Booking.com for inviting us for the learning camp.”

Shedding light on the selection of Global Himalayan Expedition and Sakha Consulting Wings: Women on Wheels, Vikas Bhola, Head – Indian Subcontinent, Booking.com said, “Like last year, India is strongly represented in the start-ups that applied for the 2018 Booster Programme. In fact, for the second year in a row, India was the second highest represented nationality after the United States among the start-ups that applied. The start-up space in India is clearly thriving and it is encouraging that there are quality start-ups focussed on creating opportunities for the development of local communities and economies to promote tourism. We are delighted that two such Indian start-ups have been shortlisted this year to pitch for grants from Booking.com.”



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