As one of the world’s largest online travel companies, Booking.com’s mission is to ‘make it easier for everyone to experience the world’. Realising that 1 in 3 LGBTQ+ travellers fear judgement from hospitality staff, the next chapter in Booking.com’s mission was to remedy LGBTQ+ unease.
To tackle this, Booking.com created the ‘Travel Proud Programme’; a scheme that offers their accommodation partners training to help them better understand and accommodate their LGBTQ+ guests. The ‘Travel Proud’ badge is awarded to Proud Certified partners to show guests they have made the extra commitment to inclusivity
To enhance the Travel Proud programme, Booking.com entrusted us to create a campaign to both celebrate partners who had already participated, and bring awareness of the programme and its importance to those who hadn’t.
Travel for LGBTQ+ people can be daunting. Members of the community often fear discrimination or even for their safety .
Anything from the language we use to the customs we practice could be contributing to LGBTQ+ discomfort or fear. Even those who mean best may unintentionally be contributing to feelings of unease. This is why Travel Proud training is indispensable to hospitality partners in the fight to make travel inclusive for all.
We wanted these films to not only make our audience aware of the Proud Travel badge and what it meant, but to genuinely inspire unity and action on a personal and industrial level. A movement of inclusivity through heartwarming true-stories, we aimed to actualise and amplify the very real voices of the customers and partners for whom this movement would make the greatest difference.
Vulnerable subjects deserve sincerity. The best way to encourage understanding with an audience is with a genuine message, and this made authenticity our greatest asset.
It was important to us the film was composed of real voices and perspectives, which is why we adopted a ‘guided not scripted’ approach in telling unfiltered stories.
The interviews proved that behind every property with a Travel Proud badge is a commitment to understanding and helping overcome the challenges LGBTQ+ travellers face.
We used a handheld, documentary-style in our 4-part series of films to colour the movement as a warm and inviting one. Shots of Booking.com’s esteemed partners and their hotels were energised with rolling cuts to scenery flaunting Amsterdam charm.
The result was a humbling aesthetic supporting the clear message that what unites and distinguishes Booking.com’s Proud Certified partners is how they make every guest feel welcome.