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TripAdvisor reviewers will receive the gift of giving, Kiva style

December 05, 2012|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
  • TripAdvisor CEO and President Stephen Kaufer, left, and Premal Shah, president of online microloan website Kiva, shake on the partnership that allows travelers who write reviews to loan money to worthy borrowers.
TripAdvisor CEO and President Stephen Kaufer, left, and Premal Shah, president… (TripAdvisor )

If you haven't heard of Kiva, the holiday season is a great time to learn about the microlending website that pairs borrowers around the world with small lenders like you and me. The idea is to wipe out poverty worldwide by connecting individuals who have money (loans start at as little as $25) with those who don't.

Now TripAdvisor is teaming up with Kiva to create an opportunity for travelers to get in on the giving.

Write a review for a hotel, vacation rental, restaurant or attraction in a country where Kiva has borrowers in need, and you'll be eligible to make a $25 microloan courtesy of TripAdvisor. The loan allows people in need to start a farm, a family business, a way to sustain themselves -- and it gets paid back too.

Here's how it works: Once you submit a review, TripAdvisor sends an email that directs you to Kiva's website. You can peruse the list of borrowers and select a person to receive a microloan, and when the loan is repaid, you can re-loan the money to another worthy person. The giving opportunity applies only to the first TripAdvisor review you write for a country.

Sure, TripAdvisor benefits by receiving more reviews for its website, but worthy projects benefit too from the $250,000 the company has set aside for Kiva donations. So get writing -- and giving. And I'd love to know which Kiva borrowers you select and why.

mary.forgione@latimes.com

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