NZ booking system benefits charities

Kiwi Karma signs hotel chains for accomodation booking system that enables guest donations

Several prominent charities are about to benefit from a new accommodation booking system based on a website called Kiwi Karma.

The concept was developed by Craig and Shelley Crestani. He had spent the past six years in the travel and tourism industry. She specialises in marketing and advertising.

“We wanted to work together,” he says. “We were having a cup of coffee with a friend in the travel industry when the idea arose: what if people could book their accommodation through a single website and $5 of each booking went to a charity?”

The charities liked the idea. Those who have initially signed up for it are the Cancer Society, Plunket, Forest and Bird, the Alzheimers, Stroke and Arthritis foundations, and the Catholic Caritas charity.

Each is a large charity with its own database of many thousands of people.

“It’s a predisposed base of users who are used to doing social good,” Crestani says.

“When they make a booking on Kiwi Karma, the website links back to the website of the hotel or motel being booked.

There is no additional charge; rather, the $5 comes from the room fee and is remitted directly to the charity by the accommodation provider. “It’s a new revenue stream for the charities.”

So far Crestani has signed up the Millenium Group of hotels, the Accor Group, the Asure motel group, the James Cook and Chancellor hotels, and Host Properties, which is a group of 96 motels.

“I’m only interested in dealing with the chains because their properties are regularly inspected and they have a level of accountability,” he says.

“We’re looking next at the Australian market where several of the hotel chains are also based.”

The website was built by Wellington company Web Industries.

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