LOS ANGELES—Today the travel industry welcomes Kind Traveler, the first ‘Give + Get’ hotel booking platform that transforms travelers into a financial force that benefits communities, the environment, and animals. Travelers ‘give’ to a local or global charity; as reward for their donation, they ‘get’ an exclusive rate to book directly with the world’s best hotels and unique properties. One hundred of the donations raised on the Kind Traveler platform are given to charity. This new travel site has tremendous potential for positive global impact, considering the financial power of the seven-trillion dollar travel industry. Last year alone more than one billion trips were taken.
According to Phocuswright’s ‘Good Travels’ research study conducted on behalf of Tourism Cares: “Nearly 75 percent of travelers polled think it’s important, somewhat important, or extremely important that their travel dollars benefit the communities they visit.” Booking through Kind Traveler, donations support top-rated charities designed to impact local and global communities. The study also found that price is still the leading reason for booking with a particular travel company. By offering an exclusive rate on the hotel stay, Kind Traveler has created a solution that addresses both the consumer’s price motivation, as well as their desire to make a difference.
Kind Traveler is completely different than an online travel agency (OTA), primarily because of the booking process and the manner in which they profile the hotel. In terms of booking, the Kind Traveler development team created unique technology that sends the traveler’s information from Kind Traveler’s site directly to the hotel’s booking engine to complete the transaction. This direct booking provides a significant value for the hotel and traveler, allowing them to communicate directly with each other before, during, and after their stay. In terms of the hotel profile, Kind Traveler highlights the property’s local charitable affiliation and “Kind Factors,” the term they use to explain how the hotel is impacting individual wellness, sustainability, and community. This unique way of telling the hotel’s story communicates a commitment to corporate social responsibility, at a time when transparency is expected from today’s travelers and consumers.
Another major distinction between Kind Traveler and other travel booking sites is their desire to educate. According to Phocuswright, three of 10 giving travelers were prompted to volunteer or donate because of something they read, heard, saw, or experienced. Kind Traveler’s blog provides stories that inspire travel while underscoring the importance of giving back, living consciously, and choosing with purpose.
Kind Traveler is positioned to make an impact on both a global and a local level. Kind Traveler’s goals are purposefully aligned with the United Nations’ Global Goals for sustainable development: Preventing poverty and hunger, protecting the planet, and promoting wellbeing for individuals and animals. Kind Traveler aims to tackle these global issues through their network of global charities including the The Salvation Army, Make-A-Wish, American Red Cross, World Food Program USA, WildAid, Arbor Day Foundation, The Keep A Breast Foundation, Project AWARE, Animal Defenders International, The Gentle Barn, Little Kids Rock, and Bright Pink.
On a local level, when a hotel joins the platform, Kind Traveler helps them to facilitate an alliance with a local charity. This gives travelers the ability to address hyper-local issues through its network of local charities including Surfrider Foundation Miami Chapter, Feeding South Florida, Boys & Girls Club of Hollywood, 2 Hands 2 Cans, Boys & Girls Clubs of Coachella Valley, Pacific Marine Mammal Center, Donda’s House, StreetWise, New York Restoration Project, City Harvest, Community Housing Partnership, San Francisco SPCA, Raymond Gardiner High School Turks & Caicos, Solmar Foundation, and Fundación Brisas.
“Our win-win platform offers solutions for everyone,” said CEO & Co-Founder Jessica Blotter. “For travelers, they become warriors for good and support hotels that are making a positive impact in the world – while receiving exclusive hotel rates. For hotels, they cultivate new relationships with cause-minded consumers and take another step towards corporate social responsibility. For charities, they receive 100% of donations and a new, sustainable channel for fundraising.”
Kind Travelers can now book hotels in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Miami, Palm Springs, Orange County, Los Cabos, Acapulco, Manzanillo, and Turks and Caicos, with more destinations to come. This charity-driven social enterprise would not be possible without the support of hotel partners such as Virgin Hotels Chicago, 1 Hotel South Beach, 1 Hotel Central Park, The James Chicago, The Benjamin, Paséa Hotel & Spa, COMO Parrot Cay, COMO Metropolitan Miami Beach, The Hollywood Roosevelt, Two Bunch Palms, Colony Palms Hotel, Hotel Angeleno, Hotel G, Serrano Hotel, Kensington Park Hotel, The Mosser Hotel, Grand Solmar Land’s End Resort & Spa, Playa Grande Resort & Grand Spa, Las Brisas Acapulco, and Las Hadas Golf Resort & Marina Manzanillo.
Kind Traveler’s mission has been supported by its founding sponsors Fathom (Carnival Corporation’s 10th and newest brand) and Gensler. Supporting sponsors include Visit California, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, Visit West Hollywood, The Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Association (BLLA), SoapBox Soaps, Tofurky, LSTN Sound Co.,Tourism Cares, Travel+SocialGood, LOVE GOODLY, Travel & Adventure Show, Acure Organics, Jambu, Panda, Wanderful, YOGASCAPES, and SNUBA.