Winners of the Global Youth Travel Awards (GYTA), which recognise the outstanding performers of international youth travel, were announced recently at the World Youth Student Travel Conference (WYSTC) in Sydney.
The awards celebrate the diversity of the youth travel sector and the variety of the industries that work within it, with categories including Best App, Outstanding Volunteer Project, Best Marketing Innovation, Best Extraordinary Experience and Best Youth Accommodation Providers.
Recognising the changing nature of the youth travel industry two new categories were added to the list of awards. The Best B2B Tech Product recognised businesses that have launched game-changing products to support youth travel providers. The WYSE Award for Social Responsibility conveyed recognition on an inspiring organisation giving back to the community.
The winners were:
WYSE Volunteer & Travel – Outstanding Volunteer Project Award – Global Vision International for a project that assists remote and under-resourced communities in creating sustainable infrastructure in response to growing pressures from development and climate change in Fiji.
STAY WYSE Green Initiative Award – Casa Gracia Hostel, Barcelona for its integrated Energy, Environmental and Green policy.
WYSE Travel Confederation Award for Best B2B Tech Product – Dolphin Dynamics for its flexible and modular booking system, tailored for the needs of youth travel providers.
WYSE Work Abroad “Expand Your Horizons” Video Contest – Junica Ane M. Mercado for her “My California Summer 2013” video that best captured the positive experiences of a summer Work & Travel programme.
WYSE Travel Confederation Award for Social Responsibility – World Nomads – Footprints Network for its impressive online philanthropy programme, funding 99 projects in 29 countries to date.
WYSTC App Yap Award – Track My Life. An app that helps people keep track of their time, movements and locations.
WYSE Travel Confederation Award for Marketing Innovation – Hostelling International for The Big Blog Campaign for a campaign which generated half a million page views and engaged with 1,173 bloggers from 72 countries.
WYSE Travel Confederation Extraordinary Experience Award – Lucas Santos and Alliance Abroad for his extraordinary life-changing experience overcoming a disability to become a lifeguard in the USA.
The awards were staged at the farewell reception of WYSTC, which saw delegates from over 120 countries travel to Sydney to participate in interactive discussions on youth travel and emerging economies, take part in workshops on innovative ways of reaching out to young travellers and debate the evolution in the way that young people travel today.
David Chapman, Director General of the World Youth Student and Educational Travel Confederation, said: “As the youth and student travel sector continues to grow at such a rapid pace the requirements for servicing it become more complex than ever before. The awards are a great way to acknowledge the companies and projects within the industry that set the standards and continue to break new ground.”
The conference also saw the launch of New Horizon’s III research, the industry’s largest ever survey into youth and student travel with 34,000 young travellers from 137 countries revealing how the youth travel industry has become increasingly complex, appealing to a larger and more diverse demographic than ever before.