The GoodBooker site
When you next book your holiday you might want to consider scrapping the points you’d earn through Expedia, Hotels.com or similar travel booking sites, and instead make an impact on some of society’s most vulnerable.
GoodBooker is a travel booking website that aims to help combat the homeless crisis by giving funding to homeless charities every time a booking is made through the platform.
Co-founded by James Daly, the site offers 28 million listings, and partners with businesses who wish to bolster their corporate social responsibility programs and have a tangible impact on homelessness – without signing up to corporate travel packages.
“Every day, people book their travel via our website because they’re choosing to make a difference for others,” explains Daly. “We have competitive prices so our users can fight homelessness at no additional cost to themselves.”
When a customer books a room, the company makes a small commission paid for by the accommodation. 50% of that commission goes to UK homeless charities.
The Online Travel Agent industry has been growing at a breakneck pace over the past two decades. Annual Online travel bookings are expected to hit $817 billion by 2020. These online travel bookings represent 66% of total travel spend, and the largest segment of this market is hotels at just over 50% of the total spend.
“The market will continue to grow; however, there is a growing pressure for people to be more conscious of their impact when traveling,” continues Daly. “While guilt-tripping people to change their habits rarely has a positive impact, it does present a growing change in the expectations of customers. As people, we are all becoming more empowered to question how we spend our money and are willing to initiate change with their purse.”
James Daly (GoodBooker) on the left, James Higgins (Ecuity Consulting). Ecuity was the company’s … [+]
A recent survey from Booking.com has shown that 55% of travelers across the world are now more determined to make more sustainable travel choices that they were previously.
“We feel this will cover both environmental and societal issues, hence our niche focus on offering customers access to the leading online travel agent market and the ability to support those facing homelessness at no additional cost,” Daly adds.
There are an estimated 150 million homeless people around the globe and 1.6 billion people in what the UN calls inadequate housing.
In the UK city where Daly founded his company, Birmingham, there is a pressing housing crisis. “I witness a staggering number of people sleeping on the streets, without a safe place to call home. Yet, it’s hard to know how best to help each person that is visibly homeless.
“We founded GoodBooker to help people help the homeless every time they go exploring to the far corners of the world, or on a business trip to powerhouse cities like New York, London or Tokyo,” he explains. “By simply booking accommodation through us, it’s possible to make a difference and directly contribute towards shelter for someone that needs a roof over their head.”
Daly says his unique selling point is rewarding customers not with points, but with a satisfaction they are helping someone in need. The company has a partnership with Booking.com, and targets both the everyday traveler, and businesses looking to book corporate travel.
Daly and Higgins plan to develop relationships with at least 1,000 corporate partners, and are looking for funding to develop their corporate platform offering, as well as a mobile app.
“Beyond this, we would love to either remain private or to be acquired by one of the larger OTAs enabling us to utilize their scale & operations and make an even greater positive impact,” Daly adds.