The site, Travel and Aid, was created by Qatar Charity and went live yesterday as a way of offering an easy way to donate to those in need, allowing more people to help “make the world a better place,” a senior official said.
Speaking to Doha News, Mohammad Abdullah Al Yazidi Yafei, QC’s executive director of support affairs and head of the project said that the site is the first of its kind in the Middle East.
Like on any other travel website, it can be used to book hotels and flights. Currently, QC has an agreement with Expedia to arrange the bookings.According to Yafei, hotels and airlines usually pay a commission of about 2 to 4 percent to online websites for arranging bookings. In this case, that commission would go to QC to fund humanitarian aid projects around the world.
For now, flights can be booked on five airlines: Qatar Airways, Etihad, Lufthansa, Turkish Airlines and Air Berlin, but several others are expected to soon be added to the site, the official said.
Speaking a press conference the launch of the website on Sunday, Yafei told media:
“We call on people in society to interact with the website, when they want to travel, because it provides them with the booking service that they need, and they can donate at the same time, without any extra charge.”
Speaking to Qatar TV, QC marketing consultant Mohamed Al-Shahawy explained that around 50 percent of travelers in the Gulf book their vacations online, so the website will ideally serve as a way to automatically increase donations for charity projects.In a statement, the charity said it would use the proceeds to fund initiatives that provide healthcare, pure water, education and social care for less fortunate communities.
Throughout the year, QC works to support these communities and natural disaster-ridden areas in more than 60 countries, from 18 field offices around the world.
Following the launch of the travel website, QC said it is also planning to debut a shopping site that follows the same model by the end of July.
This new site will allow shoppers to buy products from Amazon, eBay and others while also giving a percentage of their spendings to charity.
Have you tried the new travel site yet? Thoughts?