Minister of Research, Innovation and Digitalization Sebastian Burduja, State Counselor for Innovation Sorin Costreie and Minister Counselor for Commercial Affairs at the U.S. Embassy, Pamela Ward join VIP guests to welcome online travel and technology leader to new office space in Bucharest
BUCHAREST, Romania, September 15, 2022 – Today Booking Holdings, the world’s leading provider of online travel and related services, with a rich heritage of digital innovation, celebrated the official opening of its first Center of Excellence in Bucharest, Romania to support the company’s growth, goals, and vision for the future of travel. Representing a projected investment of 100M euros over 5 years, the opening of the Booking Holdings Center of Excellence in Bucharest is expected to create 500 jobs within this time.
Minister of Research, Innovation, and Digitalization Sebastian Burduja, State Counselor for Innovation Sorin Costreie and Minister Counselor for Commercial Affairs at the U.S. Embassy, Pamela Ward from the U.S. Embassy attended a private event with other VIP guests, including representatives from the American Chamber of Commerce and the Association of Business Service Leaders (ABSL), to officially mark the opening and welcome Booking Holdings to the 4,000 square meter space in the brand new U•Center building in the city center.
The Center of Excellence has been opened to provide access to specialized and highly skilled talent, support projects powered by new and emerging technologies, leverage industry best practices, and foster collaboration opportunities across all of the Booking Holdings brands, including Booking.com, Priceline, Agoda, KAYAK, OpenTable and Rentalcars.com. The company’s family of leading travel technology brands work to enrich consumers’ lives and help its partners thrive through the technology that it provides.
Currently the new Center of Excellence in Bucharest will focus on supporting core CyberSecurity and Fraud monitoring capabilities, IT Infrastructure, and Procurement Analytics, with new capabilities in other areas including Data Governance, Finance and Marketing being added throughout this year and into 2023. Spread over an entire floor, the Center aims to create a flexible and inclusive workplace experience. The office theme and design concepts, developed by Gensler, draw on elements from different cultures and regions around the world to evoke the spirit of travel and the diversity at the heart of the Booking Holdings community. Traditional textiles from Romania have been used in meeting rooms and team areas, with color schemes inspired by the different Booking Holdings brands.
“When we were looking for the best place to open our first Center of Excellence, we wanted somewhere that would meet the needs of our dynamic, diverse and digital-first organization, both today and as we continue to grow and evolve in the future,” said Paulo Pisano, Chief Human Resources Officer for Booking Holdings. “Bucharest’s abundance of diversified and multilingual talent, including strong functional capabilities in relevant areas, the quantity and expertise of partner providers in the market, a high-grade digital infrastructure, promising national economic growth, and available cutting edge office facilities, all played into our decision to open here. We are very much looking forward to expanding our presence in this vibrant and exciting city.”
The variety of different spaces – from modern collaboration zones to focus work areas and flexible seating designed for today’s hybrid working style – reflect the Center’s role as a talent hub, maximizing connection, collaboration and innovation between colleagues and brands. The Center is expected to be a key enabler of Booking Holdings’ mission to make it easier for everyone to experience the world. As part of Booking Holdings’ commitment to sustainability, including in its own operations as outlined in the company’s first-of-its-kind Climate Action Plan, the new Center is located in a building which features a range of interior systems that incorporate the latest technologies for smarter, more efficient and healthier office space. Completed in Q3 2021 and 100% powered by electricity from renewable sources, the first phase of the U•Center office project obtained LEED Platinum certification with a score of 85, one of the highest LEED v4 certifications obtained in Romania, and WELL Health & Safety, which certifies the sanitary safety of the building in the context of COVID-19.
Sebastian Burduja, Minister of Research, Innovation and Digitization said, “I am grateful for the fact that Booking Holdings has chosen Romania for its first Center of Excellence. I congratulate you personally and on behalf of the Government. Booking is part of my life and my family’s life, and thank you for accomplishing the mission of enabling us all to travel. Your presence here is a testament to your company’s vision, and to this country’s resources. Romania has a lot to offer, especially in the tech space. I assure you of my full support. Once again congratulations to the team and keep up the good work!”
Minister Counselor for Commercial Affairs at the U.S. Embassy, Pamela Ward shared, “I am confident that the opening of this Center for Excellence will not only uphold Booking Holdings’ reputation as a dynamic, diverse, and digital-first organization but also support its continued global growth, and provide jobs and build prosperity in Romania and the United States.”
The executive team from U•Center, the new eight-floor business development located in the city’s Sector 4, was also on hand to welcome Booking Holdings to its new Center of Excellence facility.
“U•Center has been specially designed to create an enjoyable and productive working environment, equipped with state-of-the-art technology for smarter, more efficient and healthier systems, and featuring contemporary and fresh architectural design. In providing a space that is beneficial to overall well-being as well as conducive to innovation and collaboration, we are pleased that we are able to meet the needs of Booking Holdings. Forte Partners has worked closely with Booking Holdings on all aspects of the premises to create a comfortable, inspiring and efficient office for this international company here in Bucharest, located in the heart of the city with an abundance of amenities close at hand, and we welcome all their colleagues to the building,” said Geo Mărgescu, CEO & Cofounder of Forte Partners, the developer of U•Center.
The Center today has a full management team in place and over 150 colleagues in different capacities supporting multiple brands, including through its partnership with Infosys to augment Booking Holdings badged employees. With plans to further expand by the end of 2022, and grow to a workforce of 500 people over five years, there are several open positions available, including in Financial Technology, Cybersecurity & Fraud, Software Development, IT Infrastructure, Shared Business Services, and other functions. Interested applicants are invited to apply directly via www.bookingholdings-coe.com.
About Booking Holdings Inc.
Booking Holdings (NASDAQ: BKNG) is the world’s leading provider of online travel and related services, provided to consumers and local partners in more than 220 countries and territories through six primary consumer facing brands: Booking.com, Priceline, Agoda, Rentalcars.com, KAYAK and OpenTable. The mission of Booking Holdings is to make it easier for everyone to experience the world. For more information, visit BookingHoldings.com and follow us on Twitter @BookingHoldings.
About Booking Holdings Romania:
Booking Holdings Romania is a Center of Excellence based in Bucharest, Romania. The Center was created to support the increasing business demands of the Booking Holdings brands. The Center of Excellence provides access to specialized and highly skilled talent, leveraging industry best practices, and fostering collaboration opportunities across Booking Holdings’ brands and business units.
SOURCE Booking Holdings