By Catalina Huidobro (Co-Founder & CEO, Destinalo)
Back in August last year, along with my two partners, Cristina Huidobro and Fran Severino, we came from Chile to Silicon Valley in San Francisco to present and validate our project, at that time known as Sustainable Tripper. After hard work and lots of learning, we went home with a much clearer idea and even a new name: Destinalo.
In 2012, Destinalo came about when it became evident that more and more travelers are looking for experiences to connect with the people and culture of the places they visit. They also usually plan their trip independently using the Internet.
That’s why we created this online booking platform dedicated exclusively to offering amazing accommodation in environmentally friendly hotels – with the added value of being run by their owners. This allows travelers to find unique, authentic, and sustainable places. More than offering just accommodation, Destinalo offers an experience.
With Destinalo, travelers will enjoy unique destinations that will allow them to get to know the traditions and culture of the places they visit; at the same time, supporting the local economic development and the preservation of the environment. All this in an easy and safe platform, where they’ll be able to choose from a wide array of hotels, cabins, hostels, campsites, lodges, farms, etc.
Furthermore, Destinalo allows small tourism entrepreneurs the opportunity of being online and attracting new clients by promoting these places internationally, allowing local entrepreneurs to reach clients globally, overcoming the technological and language barriers that would have prevented communication otherwise.
In our launch campaign, Destinalo invites everyone wanting to take part in our sustainable travelers’ community to subscribe to the website. The first 500 people to subscribe to Destinalo during January will receive a special benefit – a 12% discount in all of their reservations for six months!
Women 2.0 readers: What is the biggest innovation in travel with the help of technology that you have seen this decade? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
About the guest blogger: Catalina Huidobro is Co-Founder and CEO of Destinalo (formerly Sustainable Tripper). She has traveled around the world in several opportunities in order to know how the industry works. She was part of Caucasus Project and also participated in the Global Competitiveness Leadership Program of Georgetown University for young Latin American leaders and professionals. Follow her on Twitter at @catahuidobro.