Donate while you sleep.
Sunday, 4th December 2005
Source : Charityhotels.com
Charityhotels.com announces that five percent of your total hotel reservation costs is donated to a charity of your choice, and the promotion of this website. The 5% is paid for by the hotels. You will not pay anything extra and as such your hotel reservation will not become more expensive. You can indicate in the reservation form, which charity should receive the hotel donation.

Charityhotels.com offers over 25,000 hotels worldwide with discounts of up to 75%. You've heard it all before?

Possibly, but there is one big difference between charityhotels and all other (online) travel agents. When booking through charityhotels you're donating money while you sleep. You could for instance donate towards the vaccination of kids in Africa or help a protected tiger survive in India. You could donate to help fight cancer or AIDS. When booking through charityhotels you automatically donate 5% of your hotel bill to charity. The reservation form allows you to indicate which charity should benefit from your donation.

You do not pay anything extra, nor do you have to become a member of some sort. You do not have to fill out lengthy questionnaires, nor will be send silly emails. You only have to select a hotel and book this at some of the best prices on the internet. Charityhotels is able to offer such good prices as the rooms are often bought in large quantities. In case you doubt our pricing, you can always compare the prices charityhotels offers with your local travel agent.

How is it possible that the reservation does not become more expensive even though 5% of the room price is donate to charity? Very simple actually. It is common practice in the hotel industry for a hotel to pay a commission to the travel agent that sends the client. Charityhotels does exactly that. It makes commission deals with hotels, travel agents and hotel wholesalers. The travel agent around the corner does exactly the same and receives a commission from the hotel every time you book a hotel. The difference is however that charityhotels is non profit making, gets most of its costs such as office rent sponsored by companies and only works with volunteers. As such the operational costs are kept to a minimum.

Charityhotels is a new way a funding for the participating charities. The charities have no financial obligations and did not have to invest in any technology or the construction and maintenance of the website. All of that was sponsored. As such, every reservation made generates a net income.

"We expect a lot from charityhotels, because for one, it is difficult to find a reason not to book through our site." says Wolfgang Keller of the Red Cross Netherlands. "The site is user friendly, fast and the hotel prices are very competitive. Why would a possible client decide to book elsewhere?" The roots of charityhotels can be traced back to 2002. Alec and Sicco Behrens had approached the former mayor of Amsterdam, to set up a website called dakloos.nl which means "homeless" in Dutch. Dakloos is a locale Amsterdam based initiative, whereby 3% of every hotel reservation made in Amsterdam would automatically be donated to the well being of the Amsterdam homeless people.

After having set up dakloos.nl in 2002, the brothers Behrens found some more time and energy in 2004, in order to develop their charityhotels concept. "The dakloos.nl concept had to stay, but we wanted to create something bigger with a more global appeal." says Alec Behrens. "We went to see the Red Cross, Amnesty International, the Cancer Society, the Heart Foundation, STOP AIDS NOW, the World Wildlife Fund, Unicef, Oxfam and Memisa Cordaid. They all very much liked the idea and collectively we worked very hard to get this idea to the finished product that we have today. We are very happy for having such fantastic charities as partners in this project and we work really well together. Sicco and I tend to work more on the technical side, whereas the charities come up with a continuos stream of ideas and improvements."

"Charityhotels.com combines the useful and the needy. A customer can support a good cause in a rather ingenious and easy way. We are very happy with this new way of fundraising. Amnesty is an organization that has a worldwide presence and charityhotels.com fits well within this worldwide presence." says Karlijne Kuipers from Amnesty International regarding her decision to participate in this initiative.

Charityhotels received some very positive comments form its early customers. One email read: "I would like to share with you that I had a very good feeling when I switched off the light in my hotel room in Milan and realized that I was doing something good. Brilliant. I slept like baby and will certainly book my next hotel accommodation trough charityhotels." Another client wrote: "I compared the price of the room that was offered to me through Charityhotels with the same room through some other websites. Out of the 5 or 6 websites that I checked, Charityhotels and Expedia were the cheapest. Actually, Expedia had the room on offer at the same price, but through Expedia I would not be able to donate 5% of my hotel bill to charity."

"It is difficult to find a reason why one should not book through charityhotels.com. Charityhotels offers over 25.000 hotels worldwide and is able to negotiate discounts of up to 75%. On top of that we make it possible, at no additional expense, to donate 5% of the hotel bill to charity." says Wolfgang Keller of the Red Cross.

"We will just have to see where this will lead us, but I think that we will be able to find some loyal customers. If the concept is appreciated, Sicco and I have some more ideas along the same route." finishes Alec Behrens. "We have started work on charityflights.com and charitycarrentals.com, but the concept could also work in complete different industries."


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