Tourism

Booking Heroes celebrates heart-warming travel stories

Personally, we plan our trips down to the minute, so the chance of something unexpected happening is very, well, unexpectable.

Though, when unpredictable events happen while travelling, it’s not always a bad thing.

In fact, some of the best experiences are borne out of an accidental train trip, missing a flight and booking a hotel in the wrong neighbourhood.

Don’t believe us?

Booking.com has unveiled the winners of its #BookingHeroes competition, a celebration of extraordinary experiences delivered to consumers within their travels around the globe.

And the stories are pretty incredible.

Booking.com received thousands of submissions via social media and have selected the three most touching and inspiring accounts of hospitality professionals going above and beyond to create unique and unforgettable travel experiences for our customers.

The customers were then flown back to surprise their Heroes in person and to say thank you for making (and saving) their trips, with all the emotional reunions caught live on camera.

Booking.com is now showcasing these stories and sharing them with the world.

A B&B owner in Scotland who helped a Canadian customer find the house where his father was born before immigrating to North America.

 

A hotel receptionist who came to the rescue and saved a Belgian bride’s dream photo shoot in Central Park.

 

And a pregnant host about to give birth in Sri Lanka who kept her homestay open to care for an injured hiker from the Netherlands.

 

Peter Verhoeven, Vice President of Partner Services at Booking.com said: “We are so appreciative of the outstanding commitment and dedication of our partners around the world.”

“They pour so much of themselves into their business and into creating truly extraordinary experiences for travellers each and every day.”

“These three amazing stories perfectly capture the unique and personal moments that make travel so special. Outstanding acts of kindness and generosity like this really are the backbone of the entire hospitality industry.”

“We couldn’t be more proud of our exceptional partners around the globe and are looking forward to surfacing even more incredible stories like this in the future.”

According to recent research conducted by Booking.com across 25 markets in 2017, a personal connection is essential for many travellers with 29 per cent saying that an accommodation feeling like home is key and 24 per cent sharing that a welcoming host is a make or break factor during the first 24 hours of their trip.

Virginia Persson, Booking Hero nominator from Vancouver Island, British Columbia in Canada said: “Staying with Karen is like staying with your new best friend.”

“You feel welcome the moment you walk in the door. She works hard to make your breakfast special and gives you more than the comforts you would get at home. We felt truly pampered.”

“Even more incredibly, just as we were losing hope towards the end of our stay, Karen helped us find Dave’s Scottish family which was the true purpose of our trip to Scotland. In this respect, she changed our lives.”

Karen McClelland, Booking Hero and Owner of Blackburn Villa B&B in Ayr, Scotland said: “What I enjoy most about what I do is meeting people from all walks of life from lots of different places, all coming to stay for different reasons.”

“As I am welcoming people into my home, I want them to feel relaxed and able to ask anything of me. To be recognised as a Booking Hero is the ultimate confirmation that I am doing things right!”

“But nothing compares to seeing the joy on Dave and Virginia’s faces when I was able to help them with their research and connect them with their Scottish roots. They’re more than just guests now, they’re friends.”

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Travel Agents

Flight Centre lowers FY19 profit expectations as Aussie leisure operations struggle

by Huntley Mitchell

Work at Flight Centre? Well, you may want to grab a pillow to scream in before reading this.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Technology

Google Maps adds new filters to its expanding hotel search options

by Christian Fleetwood

Google Maps does not yet offer a filter for mini-bar drinks though, much to the disappointment of Travel Weekly’s editor.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Technology

Air passengers to be weighed before boarding to cut fuel costs

In a bid to reduce airline wastage, a tech start-up has come up with an interesting way to potentially cut fuel costs and emissions on flights.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Pilot incapacitated during Perth to Hong Kong flight

by Ali Coulton

The flight captain was forced to call upon crew and passengers for help after becoming out of breath and suffering from impaired vision.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Boeing reveals billion-dollar cost blowout from 737 MAX crisis

by Huntley Mitchell

It appears the order for a new ping pong table and Nespresso coffee machine at Boeing HQ will be put on hold after this dour financial news.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Sri Lanka tourism speaks out about attacks, as death toll is downgraded

In light of the devastating bombings that killed hundreds of people in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, the country’s tourism board has released an update for travellers.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Flavour of the Week

Didn’t get much done this week? Feel free to live vicariously through these high achievers.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

“Business as usual” in Honiara following civil unrest: Tourism Solomons CEO

It appears everything is back to normal in the Solomon Islands capital, after the election of the country’s PM spurred violent protests.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Agent wrap: Club Med breaks famil record, name Travelmarvel’s new ship + more!

If the thought of going back to regular-sized working weeks makes you as petrified as it makes us, take solace in these pictures of agents having a kick-ass time overseas.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Aloha Friday wrap

How can you make your short week even shorter? Use this Aloha Friday wrap to convince yourself you’re exploring the Hawaiian Islands.

Share

CommentComments

Events

Where to play two-up around Australia

Industry punters looking to try their luck while paying homage to those who served in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations this Anzac Day, look no further.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Six Hawaii travel hacks

Get the most out of your holiday on the Hawaiian Islands.

Share

CommentComments