The HI New York City hostel celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, and just received some very special recognition from the New York City Council.

City Hall Proclamation for HI

Co-founder Janet Thompson with City Council Members.

Yesterday the City Council at its regular meeting honored HI NYC with the reading of a special proclamation and remarks from council members that celebrated our community contributions. Hostel co-founder Janet Thompson, HI NYC’s senior management team and I gratefully heard our home district Council Member Mark Levine describe the hostel’s contribution to promoting affordable travel and intercultural exchange in the city.  Council Member Margaret Chin spoke of her recent hostel visit and our community programs, and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito highlighted our ties with community groups and local residents.

As a nonprofit seeking every day to make a positive difference through our work, it’s the sort of appreciation that is truly extraordinary.   

Our mission purpose is front and center in the hostel lobby.

Our purpose is front and center in the hostel lobby.

We thank the New York City Council for the recognition, and look forward to our next 25 years as a valued community institution in one of the world’s most vibrant cities.




Find out what the City Council likes about us.

The full text of the proclamation is below:


Whereas: The Council of the City of New York is proud to honor Hostelling International New York City upon its 25th Anniversary for promoting dynamic global communities, greater understanding of cultures, and innovative ideas through travel from its headquarters on the Upper West Side; and

Whereas: Hostelling International New York City (HI NYC) represents a sterling example for opening up cultural and travel opportunities for all, innovating the hostel industry to provide affordable hospitality and quality programming, while contributing to efforts to “help all, especially the young, gain a greater understanding of the world through hosteling;” and

Whereas: American Youth Hostel (AYH) staff and volunteers collaborated with local neighborhood groups to transform a historic building designed by legendary architect Richard Morris Hunt into New York City’s first official hostel; and

Whereas: This transformation saw a previously dilapidated former charity home of the Association for the Relief of Respectable Aged Indigent Females flourish once again as Hostelling International New York City hostel, the flagship residence of AYH and one of the largest and most renowned hostels in the world; and

Whereas: Since opening in 1990 as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, HI NYC has opened its doors to over a million travelers, greeting droves of mostly young people of succeeding generations with supremely high-quality and affordable hospitality and housing; and

Whereas: HI NYC was founded on an enduring belief in the power of travel to foster a deeper understanding of people, places and culture to promote a more tolerant world. It has thoughtfully constructed programming that offers various windows into the Upper West Side area where it exists, providing unique walking tours of the neighborhood, exuberant musical events and community celebrations, as well as wonderful cultural, sporting, and travel events that bring people together from all walks of life; and

Whereas: HI NYC planted deep roots in the community, by graciously welcoming neighborhood residents and volunteers from across the city to participate in its programs and use its common spaces for important public gatherings to build a vibrant community of global citizens who have the compassion to make the world a better place for all; and

Whereas: It is clear that HI NYC, as well as AYH, have graciously provided countless travelers from abroad the opportunity to stay comfortably in New York City, and participate in a terrific cultural exchange that facilitates cross-cultural understanding; now, therefore

Be It Known: That the Council of the City of New York honors Hostelling International New York City in celebration of its 25th Anniversary.