Destination Compensation is a Gothenburg based start-up with an intention to establish consciousness and financial support for poverty stricken areas worldwide. Tourist funding can now help these areas in cooperation with local charity organisations. In this way single individuals can contribute to multiple improvements.
The idea of Destination Compensation stems from all the travelling that the founders Anna and Malin have done around the world.
“When we visited Bronx, New York, we saw a lot of people begging and singing for money. We asked ourselves what more we could do than just giving them a couple of dollars each. Why don’t we make every tourist able to donate already as they book their trip? When you buy your ticket, that’s when you have the most money!” – Malin
The first step for Destination Compensation was to join the Chalmers Innovation Start-Up camp earlier this year. During ten weeks they had the opportunity to test out their idea. Their market research at airport coaches and the largest tourist fair in Sweden, TUR-mässan, have shown overwhelmingly positive responses from both travel agencies and travellers. Two travel agencies signed up already at the fair to test out the concept of Destination Compensation. One of them is TagAlong, which organises field trips to the local charity organisations where travellers have the chance to experience the very place of their donation.
Travellers will be a given the chance to contribute to a local charity organisations at the destination, even before leaving their homes. They will also be given the chance to donate as they arrive at the destination or after their visit. A sum of 100 SEK, 200 SEK or more are currently the given donation options on the travel agencies webpages.
Destination Compensation received funding from Chalmers Innovation in order to develop the service and allow future expansion of the company. This business model seems to attract angel investors on a larger scale than high-risk investors, according to Malin. They have also received help from IT-technician to code their webpage and plugin. The foundation of what can become a well-established service in the future has thus been laid. However, further funding is required in order to improve the plugin, make it user friendly and integrative into the bigger booking systems. Currently the company has initiated a crowd-funding option for anyone to contribute.
“Our goal is not only to create consciousness amongst travellers, but also a simple way to donate money to local charity organisations. Many of the travellers don’t see so much outside the hotel areas, but the ones that do may feel a frustration that they don’t know how to help as they see these poverty stricken areas.” – Anna
Anna and Malin have decided not to corporate with the larger charity organisations such as Red Cross or Save the Children. Anna claims that these organisations already have their sources to collect money, in contrast to the smaller local ones.
As for the future, Anna and Malin see Destination Compensation to be well established in Sweden. After a few years they will look towards the market in the United States.
“Even though Americans don’t travel much abroad, they travel a lot within the country. The social situation in many cities is quite bad and there are many local initiatives that need support. There are also different tax reductions in America and in the culture they have a longer history of charity.” -Anna
Article written by Erik Sjölin.