The awards celebrate the crème de la crème of the British youth, student and educational travel industry and honoured businesses that are focused on raising the bar for the youth travel market in the UK.
The competition saw more than 1,000 entrants from across the globe hoping to exchanging lives with another blogger. Then 16 lucky winners got to swap lives and blogs with each other, immersing themselves in the different culture of a far-off country.
Sophie Hosking, the British Olympic gold medallist and a true inspiration for youth, hosted the event. Throughout her career she got the chance to travel the world and achieve a greater understanding of different cultures which was also the idea behind the Big Blog Exchange.
Here at HI we are excited about the win. Chief executive Mikael Hansson says: “It is an absolute honour to receive this award. Our aim with the Big Blog Exchange was to promote greater understanding of different cultures through travel, as we believe that in taking small steps towards one another, we can learn more about other nations, avoid misunderstandings which can lead to conflicts and ultimately, encourage peace.”
It was impressive to follow our bloggers throughout the whole journey and see how they fully embraced the experience. They have certainly impressed us with their positive attitude, sense of adventure and open minds.
One of the winners was Kisty Mea, from Singapore, who got the chance to exchange her life with Sophie Roberts from the UK. After her journey, she said: “I’ve learned a lot of things during this trip; one of the things is to affirm that the United Kingdom is not just about London. When you think of the United Kingdom, London is the first thing that comes to mind. The UK is composed of four countries: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. England alone is huge and each town or city in it varies from one another. Each of them has their own history and theme.
“When you travel, you learn new things that you’d wish your home country were also doing. This can be anything: from public transportation to their way of life.”
Keep up to date with the latest Big Blog Exchange here.