News & Analysis

Social startup TravelGiver celebrates first birthday, new travel partners and launch of corporate programme

- September 16, 2014 2 MIN READ

It’s been a little over a year since TravelGiver – a travel booking site for socially-conscious travellers – was launched by founder Kimi Anderson. In celebration of its first year of growth, the startup has announced a range of new travel partners and charity projects, a corporate program for businesses, and the launch of a new website that will making the booking process easier.

Prior to embarking on her philanthropic startup venture, Anderson spent 12 years working in the hospitality and tourism industry for global brands including Best Western Australasia. Her passion for travel isn’t therefore unprecedented, but neither is her passion for philanthropy.

Anderson was adopted from Vietnam at a young age, and she has since enjoyed growing up in a loving family and creating one of her own. While life was good for her – having a supportive husband, a beautiful daughter, and a great job – last year, she strongly felt she needed to do more with her life.

“I have enjoyed a life full of opportunities … I feel very lucky, and by way of giving back, I launched TravelGiver.com with clear objectives – firstly, to raise awareness of amazing projects that are out there – give them a voice and help them raise funds,” says Anderson.

Launched in August 2013, TravelGiver allows travellers to book flights, accommodation, packages, car rentals, cruises insurance and travel guides – practically everything a traveller needs to plan a holiday. The real kicker is that travellers are able to donate up to 8 percent of their booking cost to a community project of their choice at no extra cost. 

In the past year, TravelGiver has expanded from 40 projects in four countries to over 300 in 50 countries, giving travellers a greater choice of where their money goes. The site has also become a social platform for travellers to research projects, share experiences and discover initiatives to visit in-person when overseas.

Anderson has told Startup Daily previously that many people these days want to make a change but don’t know where to begin.“TravelGiver.com allows people to feel good about giving; and if they are visiting the project destination, they can volunteer or see for themselves what kind of impact they can make,” she says.

“I can guarantee you that a few hours at a good project will be the highlight of everyone’s two week holiday”.

This month, 15 new booking partners including major travel brands Etihad, Booking.com, Intrepid Travel and Hertz will be joining existing partners including Expedia, Lonely Planet, Zuji, Best Western and Accor.

“After a year in business, I’ve been overwhelmed by how many people have got onboard with TravelGiver and the concept of giving while travelling. Long may it continue!”

A new corporate program has been added so that business travellers have the option to select their preferred community project to make giving quick and easy every time they hop on board a plane.

The new website will also include features making it even easier to navigate and book with more booking specials, social media streams where users can share their experiences and rate community projects, and a new animated How To video.