Hostelling International has received the Ambassador for Peace Award for its leadership in promoting international understanding through travel. And whether a hostel in Madison or Madrid, San Francisco or Sydney, Boston or Berlin, its an honor all within the HI network can be proud of.
The award was accepted by HI President Edith Arnoult-Brill on behalf of Hostelling International and its more than 80 national associations. It was presented on the Platinum Stage at the World Travel Market on November 5th by International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) Founder and President Lou D’ Amore.
HI was one of eight organizations honored worldwide. Others included Airline Ambassadors International, Global Volunteers, Peace Boat and READ Global. With its more than 3,500 hostels and 38 million overnights annually, HI was honored for its efforts to promote a culture of peace through tourism. It also was cited as an early proponent of sustainable tourism, a concept which today has entered the mainstream of travel.
As an international federation, the London-based HI relies on its national associations like HI-USA to advance its global mission and values through local hostels and activities. In the United States, we deliver intercultural understanding and global citizenship every day through our 55 mission-focused hostels and our related programming, plus special events such as Sleep for Peace and The Great Hostel Give Back.
IIPT is a nonprofit that for the past 25 years has sought to build wider awareness of the potential for travel to promote a more peaceful world. As a guest speaker at three global summits, I have seen first-hand the widening embrace of IIPT principles within the travel sector, including industry support for United Nations World Tourism Organization adoption of a global code of ethics in 2011 that highlights the link between travel and tourism, and peace and development.
Seeing two deeply committed colleagues sharing the stage was a special pleasure. Outgoing HI president Edith Arnoult-Brill has spent her two terms of office seeking to advance HI and its mission philosophy. And IIPT founder Lou D’Amore has been a farsighted voice for travel and tourism as an engine for progress.
HI hostels are helping to create a better world. It’s not an idealistic notion; it’s a reality we all are creating together. Congratulations to everyone at HI worldwide, and warm thanks to IIPT.