07, May 2015: A spokesperson for Hostelling International, the only global network of Youth Hostel Associations, is pleased to announce that the YHA (England and Wales) has been internationally recognised for reconnecting with 16 — 24 year olds in the UK through its Live More campaign. The youth hostelling charity has won the prestigious Innovation in Marketing award at the Global Youth Travel Awards 2014.

The spokesperson for Hostelling International said the annual awards, which were recently held in Dublin, celebrate the outstanding performers within the youth, student and educational travel industry and act as a benchmark for excellence within this fast-growing sector.

YHA’s Live More campaign was launched in England and Wales last year, combining adventure and music to engage with young people. The campaign reached 832,256 students and increased YHA’s Facebook community by 255% and has contributed to a 21% rise in awareness of YHA amongst the under 26s in the last 12 months.

Commenting on the award win, Joe Lynch, Director of Marketing for YHA (England and Wales) said: “This is a tremendous achievement and tells us that our Live More campaign is working. We set out to reconnect with young people — because that is what YHA is all about — and we are making excellent progress.”

Confirming YHA’s reputation as youth brand, YHA has also been shortlisted in the Travel category of Voxburner’s Youth 100: The UK’s Top Brands According To 18-24s.

Estimated to be globally worth £80 billion, youth travel is recognised as the fastest growing travel industry sector, a statistic the experts from membership organisation Hostelling International can confirm. In Europe, the UK is second only to Germany in the number of its young people that travel abroad each year.

The Live More campaign is designed to challenge any misconceptions young people may have about YHAs, positioning them as contemporary, comfortable accommodation in a range of great locations. YHA has been commended for its interior styling by Cosmopolitan and Elle magazines and the Daily Telegraph.

Capitalising on the range of locations, the Live More campaign categorised 21 YHAs according to five holiday moods, from adventure, escapism and partying to culture or taking over a hostel for a weekend with a group of friends. The campaign promoted stays within the YHA network for as little as £10 per person per night

As part of the Live More campaign a young unsigned band, The Intermission Project, embarked on the YHA Road Trip travelling in a vintage YHA-branded campervan, playing free gigs at five iconic YHAs. The band was joined on the Bristol leg of the trip by British breakthrough artist George Ezra. The two-week Road Trip was filmed and footage uploaded to YouTube where it generated more than 20,000 views.

The YHA Road Trip positioned YHA in the psyche of up and coming musicians, with a number choosing to use the 160-strong network of properties to showcase their music. One such musician included 20 year-old Rose Redd who, earlier this year used 10 YHAs to create her own Road Trip to promote her EP release.

As well as providing venues for artists to showcase their talents, it is also an opportunity for YHA (England and Wales) to reach out to young people and highlight incredible wealth of affordable adventure and accommodation on their doorstep and YHA is the gateway to exploring it.

Joe Lynch added: “YHA’s Live More campaign is all about enabling young people to make the most of their freedom while not breaking the bank. We want to encourage them to take a gap weekend and get out and discover what the UK has to offer now.

“Because of the fact YHA is a charity and our network of accommodation is so diverse, we’re able to offer a truly unique experience to young people and the opportunity for them to literally, live more.”

Since 2011 YHA has invested more than £25 million in its network helping put further distance between the outdated public perceptions of YHAs. Today’s modern YHAs include private en suite rooms and licensed bars and restaurants. Later this year YHA (England and Wales) will be opening brand new YHA’s at the Eden Project in Cornwall on 24 October and also in Brighton, where the former four star Royal York Hotel has been transformed and will open its doors on 17 November.

About Hostelling International:

Hostelling International (HI) is the only global network of Youth Hostel Associations. Located in some of the world’s most inspiring locations, the HI network offers 4,000 unique hostels in 91 countries worldwide. HI is a non-profit membership organisation, with a proud history and a relevant philosophy. All hostels meet assured standards, guaranteeing a range of good quality safe accommodation, in friendly surroundings at affordable prices. Find out more at the website: https://www.hihostels.com/

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