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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Thai start-up wins place on Booking.com’s booster program

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Booking.com recently announced the top 10 finalists for its Booster Program focusing on sustainable tourism and one of the lucky participants is Local Alike, a Thai online travel platform that provides travel experiences around Southeast Asia.

The aim of the programme is to identify, mentor and fund enterprising start-ups from around the world that are seeking to have a positive impact on the global tourism industry.
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The 10 selected ventures will participate in a three-week program in June in Amsterdam that culminates with a chance to make a pitch to a panel of Booking.com and industry experts for grants of up to Bt19 million from Booking.com.
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“We are so impressed with the amazing diversity and quality of applications that we received for the Booking.com Booster Program. The incredible passion and genuinely innovative business concepts we saw from start-ups from practically every corner of the globe was truly inspiring,” says Gillian Tans, CEO of Booking.com.
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 “I can’t wait get to know these 10 start-ups better and see how we can help them to accelerate their growth plans in order to bring their vision for sustainable tourism to even more destinations around the world.”
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Nearly 700 start-ups from 102 countries applied to the programme, Local Alike will be joined by other nine teams from the United States, India, the Netherlands, Russia and Italy.
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Local Alike exists as two business entities: Local Alike Travel tour company operates community-based tourism tours in Thailand and soon across Southeast Asia and Local Alike website is a sustainable tourism online marketplace where travellers around the world can find local and authentic experiences.
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“After four years in the business, we succeeded in developing 70 communities in Thailand and this year we are expanding into communities in Vietnam and India. What makes us unique is that we establish long-term partnerships with local communities. We bring in more income and educate them to optimise resources from tourism to further develop their societies. We encourage them to fix community issues from the root cause,” says Somsak Boonkam, founder of Local Alike. 
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“What we are most excited about is to personally connect with other like-minded fellows from the other nine teams, as well as the team at Booking.com.” 
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