Hostelling International is thrilled to announce that our project, the Big Blog Exchange, has been awarded the first place accolade for marketing innovation in the World Youth Service Enterprise (WYSE) Travel Confederation’s Global Youth Travel Awards!
The Big Blog Exchange, the largest blog contest in history, was recognised as the most inspiring and innovative marketing campaign of the year with WYSE praising the campaign as creative and inspirational as well as standing out as the only campaign of its kind in the world.
Here at HI we’re all thrilled with the result. Our Chief Executive Officer, Mikael Hansson, says: “We are delighted to be honoured for this campaign. The response to our Big Blog Exchange has been overwhelming, allowing us to promote our organisation to around 170 countries in such a short space of time. Sharing the experiences of the winning bloggers has also proved how global interaction can inspire young people to spread peace and understanding throughout the world, which has been part of our mission for over 80 years.”
The Big Blog Exchange (BBE) attracted an overwhelming response with more than 1,000 bloggers entering the competition in the hope of exchanging lives with another blogger from across the globe. 100 finalists were then given the chance to demonstrate to the online community how they would change the world with the power of blogging if they were to win. Only 16 were chosen as winners and these lucky few got to swap lives with each other, immersing themselves in the culture of a far-off country which they otherwise may never have considered visiting. HI’s aim in the project was to promote greater understanding of different cultures through travel and therefore make small steps to prevent big conflicts – something we believe strongly in.
One of the winners was Auður Osp from Iceland who got the chance to swap lives with Ali Karp from Israel for 10 days. Auður was apprehensive about the impending trip due to her previous perception of Israel, however, the BBE changed her life: ‘If you would ask me whether the Big Blog Exchange fulfilled its purpose of changing the world through blogs and bloggers my answer would have to be yes.
‘It definitely changed one person’s views towards more tolerance and understanding and that is surely a start. Now it’s my duty to pay it forward; live, explore and keep an open mind. It also taught me so much about myself and how easy it is to slip into a state where you start looking at the world as a big bad thing instead of the amazing wonder that it really is.’
Keep up to date with the latest Big Blog Exchange here.