Booking.com renews commitment to Tourcoing
Building on success
In 2011 Kamal Bounajma, then Managing Director for Booking.com France, underscored the strategic importance of locating its European customer relations center in Lille. “We spent a considerable amount of time choosing the sites for our new operation in France, and we found that Greater Lille did the best job of meeting our expectations.” Since then, Booking.com’s Hauts-de-France team has grown steadily, from 75 employees in 2011 to 250 in 2014 to 420 today. As its current building began to feel too small for its new scope and ambitions, the company launched another search for a European site. “We considered moving to another European city to get more space,” says Leslie Dickinson, the Tourcoing facility’s current director.
All-out effort to keep Booking.com in Hauts-de-France
Then the city of Tourcoing swung into action, working closely with its public-private real estate arm Ville Renouvelée, and with Nord France Invest, the Hauts-de-France Regional Council, Greater Lille and other partners to win Booking.com’s vote once again. The regional players worked intensively over a 14-month period, submitting hard data, holding numerous meetings with their partners, tapping into available financial incentives, and participating in the final talks. For several months, Nord France Invest was the interface between Booking.com and its community of regional partners.
New 8,000-sq m site to accommodate 900 Booking.com employees
The regional team met one of the company’s primary criteria—the ability to construct a new building very quickly—by securing a building permit for the 8,000-sq m facility in record time. Booking.com will be able to move in by early 2019, and the new site will accommodate its entire team, projected to expand to 900 employees over the next three years.