Not-for-profit hotel association Bee + Hive is launching a new booking platform centered around hotels that offer sustainable travel experiences. Guests that want to travel responsibly and adventure while on vacation can plan a trip based on activities, locations, and sustainable resources.
Any profits made from the booking engine will go directly to Bee + Hive’s efforts to support sustainable travel and hotels. Bruno Correa, founder of Bee + Hive, says, “One hundred percent of sales will be dedicated to sustainability. There’s also a lot of research and evidence for the experience and relevance. People are increasingly more interested in doing something different on their vacations.”
When booking through the Bee + Hive engine, guests will know that their money is going back into the association. Correa says, “Basically, our stake of the revenue that we get is not going to someone else’s profit. It’s going to be reinvested in the press, the media, and the commercial elements. When travelers use our platform, they are not only supporting a local niche, the hotel, and activities around; they’re also supporting a global movement that we are representing.”
Bee + Hive has found that travelers want to vacation responsibly and have authentic experiences they cannot get at home. The association assesses hotels for the booking platform, and Correa adds, “Whoever is in the platform is a legitimate, sustainable hotel. We validate that. We also check what other certifications or associations they are connected with.”
Travelers are provided with different options if they’re searching for an adventure rather than a specific location or hotel. Correa provides the example of bird watching in the woods; guests can search hotels based on that criteria and know the provided options have the experiences in a space they want that is also located at sustainable properties.
Because it’s unlike traditional booking engines, communicating the platform’s purpose and design to hotels can be a challenge. “The platform is very unique. Our challenges are the usual challenges of building any platform, which is making sure each hotel has channel managers and systems.”
Bee + Hive has been working to ensure that hotels are prepared for the launch of the booking platform in June 2019. Correa hopes that the association’s preparations for the launch make its integration easier for its hotels. “We have to know it’s going to work on a day-to-day basis because, being small hotels, any new element to their operation can be a bit of a hassle. We want to make sure it minimizes the problem of operational complexity that it can generate.”
Bee + Hive wants to include all guests who wish to travel more responsibly and have sustainable experiences. “We want to connect with new travelers with this growing trend of sustainable travel and connect to the local communities, which is a different and unique way to go,” Correa says.
Correa offers some advice for companies and hotels that want to either create or join a new booking platform. “If you’re planning on doing your own booking platform, you should think of what makes you unique and how you differentiate,” he says. “For hotels that might be trying to get on the booking platform, think of the effect it could have on your operation adding this new element. And that element is what a customer is going to reach because of this booking platform.”