Online travel giant Booking.com has announced its sponsorship of Manchester Pride, an extension of its mission to make it easier for everyone to experience the world, no matter where they come from, who they love or how they identify.
More than 100 employees from Booking.com’s Manchester Trips Division will walk in the Manchester Pride Parade and take part in the celebrations between August 25 and 29.
The digital travel company, which will move into its new UK headquarters in Manchester in November, promises to mark the occasion with a series of activities and also to unveil a few surprises across the weekend.
The sponsorship is an amplification of Booking.com’s Travel Proud programme, which aims to make travelling a more welcoming and inclusive experience for LGBTQ+ people. More than 10,000 properties internationally have completed the training programme and have been recognised with a Travel Proud badge on Booking.com as a symbol of their commitment to inclusive hospitality.
Recent research by Booking.com found that 71 per cent of UK-based LGBTQ+ travellers have experienced less than welcoming or uncomfortable experiences when travelling, with 61 per cent reporting that they have to consider their safety and wellbeing as a member of the community during their trips.
As part of its ‘Travel Proud’ programme, Booking.com is committed to working closely with its partners, employees and suppliers to connect with LGBTQ+ travellers, and is actively looking for ways to reduce barriers for the community both on and off its platform. That includes providing hospitality professionals with the confidence and tools to use the right language in every interaction with their guests, as well as leveraging more inclusive language and options on the Booking.com platform itself.
Matthias Schmid, VP of Booking.com’s Trips Division, said: “We’re proud to be building a global hub for transport here in Manchester, where we already employ more than 1,000 people from all over the world. It’s a vibrant, inclusive community, including a large active presence in our internal B.proud employee resource group, which is dedicated to helping promote increased acceptance and understanding for LGBTQ+ people throughout our organisation.
“The theme for 2022’s Manchester Pride Parade is ‘March for Peace’, promoting peace in a world where everyone in the LGBTQ+ community is free to live and love without prejudice. This firmly aligns with our values as a company, and it’s fantastic to support such an essential charity that celebrates and promotes inclusivity in Manchester and beyond.”
Booking.com has long been a participant in Pride celebrations globally and has active sponsorships with the Manchester Pride charity and New Zealand this year. The company was also the general sponsor for Amsterdam Pride 2022, with the Netherlands hosting its global headquarters.