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Presenting the finalists of the 2018 Global Youth Travel Awards

Sep 7, 2018

The 2018 Global Youth Travel Awards (GYTAs) will be hosted as part of this year’s World Youth and Student Travel Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland. Since launching the awards back in July, our judges have carefully considered an extremely high calibre of entries in selecting three finalists in each of the 10 award categories.

“The youth travel industry is diverse and expanding,” remarked David Chapman. “This year, we received a high number of first-time applicants in addition to returning contenders.”

The new award category, Best Sustainable Tour Operator, demonstrates how organisations are adopting eco-friendly practices and taking responsibility for their impact on the environment and community. As one of our judges noted, “Companies are really making progress in keeping the SDGs in full view when it comes to their products and supply chain – it is great to see this, and I imagine next year it will be even better.”

The award for Best Travel Technology initiative also highlighted the wide range of innovation and creative concepts aimed at supporting the young traveller. “I hope to see more tech start-ups entering the Global Youth Travel Awards – they are missing out by not focussing on this key segment of travellers.” said one judge.

Another new category this year, is the award for Best Social Space in a Hostel with the aim of uncovering the most creative, functional and interactive common areas in youth and student travel accommodation facilities. This category revealed the level of detail and thought that goes into the design of space; from doing without walls to enable the flow of natural light and circulation, using second-hand furniture, installing self-service facilities for encouraging guests to engage, to modular lounge pieces and communal dining. The traditional hostel is becoming multi-functional and multi-faceted. As one judge commented, “Reviewing applications makes me proud to be part of this area of tourism – the innovation in youth travel experiences is impressive.”

In addition to the 10 nominated categories, finalists have also been determined for four consumer-voted categories. All winners of the 2018 Global Youth Travel Awards will be announced at the World Youth and Student Travel Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland, during an awards gala dinner Friday, 21 September 2018 at the National Museum of Scotland. You can review our list of finalists below.

Nominated categories

Best Education Abroad Provider
Greenheart International
BAFF/CIEE
The Dragon Trip
Best Social Responsibility Initiative
EL Viajero
G Adventures
Khwela Youth Tourism Stars
Best Social Space in a Hostel
Clink NOORD
Fabrika Tbilisi
Abraham Hostels Tel Aviv
Best Sustainable Tour Operator
GoEco
G Adventures
Kiff Kombi Tours
Best Travel Safety Initiative
Dr Walter
Travello App
Envoys
Best Travel Technology Product
CultureMee
World Around Me
Travello App
Best Work Experience Provider
Peter Pans Travel
BUNAC
Rustic Pathways

Consumer-voted categories

Best Youth Travel Airline
Emirates
Qatar Airways
American Airlines

Best Youth Travel Agent
Hostelworld
STA Travel
StudentUniverse

Best Youth Travel Accommodation
MEININGER
Generator Hostels
a&o Hotels and Hostels

Best Youth Tour Operator
Contiki
Rustic Pathways
G Adventures