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World peace and a comfy place to lay your head...Hostelling International wins Ambassador

The chance to see the world in all its glory has inspired many a traveller to pack up their bags and head off on the global adventure of a lifetime. Would-be globetrotters are normally on a mission to soak up the sights and sounds of a new culture, escape the daily grind for a period of time or simply rest their weary bones on some tropical isle.

But for one non-profit organisation travel has more significant impact on the world, with the power to promote peace and break down cultural barriers. Hostelling International’s (HI) work with young people in this area has earned it an Ambassador for Peace Award from the International Institute for Peace Through Tourism.

Collecting the award, HI President Edith Arnoult-Brill, said: "In contemporary societies, we need to improve the awareness of the younger generation that it is the respect and the understanding of cultural diversity, and the differences between people around the world that leads to a sustainable culture of peace."

HI, which has about 3,500 hostels within 85 countries, runs a number of initiatives designed to bring the gap between different cultures around the globe from grassroots volunteer programmes to innovative social media campaigns such as The Big Blog Exchange – which saw 16 finalists, from more than 1,170 entries, swapping blogs and lives.

Blogger Audur, who travelled to Israel from Iceland, wrote: "Israel surprised me... It reminded me that you can enjoy the company of people you don't agree with and how much you can learn from listening to their reasons and thoughts." And it’s not just international relations that HI has mastered, they’ve also got a handle on quirky hostel accommodation, with travellers able to pitch up anywhere from an Amazonian rainforest retreat to a converted plane in Stockholm.

Are you keen to broaden your horizons with a trip overseas? Before you go it is important to secure worldwide travel insurance to ensure you are covered during your stay.

Date Created: 08 November 2013

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