MALIBU, CALIF.—Kind Traveler, which describes itself as the 1st socially conscious Give + Get booking and media platform, will turn five later this year with 120 properties in 22 countries in its system. Jessica Blotter, Co-founder of the website, says more hotels will soon be added. Seventy nonprofits benefit from the platform that sees travelers donate $10 to a local or global charity each time they book a hotel through Kind Traveler. In return for that donation, travelers get an exclusive rate with the site’s member hotels. According to the Kind Traveler website, a room booked at one New York City boutique hotel cost $134 per night through Kind Traveler but as much as $215 through competing sites.
“We have raised $30,000 for charities through our website but we do other giving such as roomnight donations,” Blotter says.
In July 2019, Kind Traveler introduced an initiative to further expand support of sustainable tourism through a special two-year partnership with Sonoma County Tourism (SCT). This partnership was the first in Kind Traveler’s Kind Destination program. Through this partnership, Sonoma County is working alongside Kind Traveler to empower travelers to make a positive community and environmental impact when visiting the destination. Travelers access exclusive rates and special perks by booking directly with Kind Traveler and its curated list of “Kind Hotels” throughout Sonoma County. A $10-a-night donation goes to a designated local charity that positively impacts the destination. SCT is one of five Kind Destination partners.
Local Results of Donations
Blotter says money raised so far by Kind Traveler in Sonoma County has resulted in 7,500 pounds of trash picked up, 20 miles of hiking trails maintained, and 600 meals provided to people in need.
Blotter says she expects to launch a new version of her website in two to three months. Kind Traveler picked up its first investor last fall.
“We still consider ourselves a growing and evolving company,” she says.
Blotter says there is no better time than the present to be charitable through travel. “There are 1 billion plant and animal species threatened and millions facing hunger,” she says. “Travel has taken on a new level of importance because of the pandemic,” adding that a Booking.com survey from 2020 showed that 55 percent of travelers want to know how their travel dollars are impacting the local area.”
Glenn Hasek can be reached at email@example.com.