Global Initiatives

Our global programmes contribute to a better world 

Click on the programmes below to find out more: 

Celebrating Peace & Diversity​

Supporting Climate Justice​

Facilitating Inter-Cultural Exchange​

Through our global initiatives, we aim to promote a greater understanding of people, places and cultures, through the education of peace, environment and global friendship. Our programmes seek to raise awareness and enhance sustainable development  across the HI network.

“...Narrow the gaps. Bridge the divides. Rebuild trust by bringing people together around common goals. Unity is our path. Our future depends on it.” 
António Guterres
Secretary-General of the United Nations

A Message From HI

Our wish for 2024, and all the years ahead, is PEACE. Here is a message from CEO, Brianda Lopez and President, Stephan Kurmann and everyone, at Hostelling International.


“Our world is increasingly rife with division and conflict, within our communities, our countries and across national and international borders.  

Today young people can too easily find themselves in the middle of violence, their well-being threatened, and life chances jeopardized.

For more than 90 years, Hostelling International, through its 70 member associations all around the world, has joined with young people to deliver our mission of global understanding and cultural exchange. Our hostels not only provide access to affordable, sustainable travel but importantly, safe spaces to engage in meaningful dialogue and grow friendships for young people of all nations, with no distinctions of race, nationality, colour, religion, gender, class or political opinions. Our global programs like ‘Say HI for Peace’ promote unity, and a more tolerant world through greater understanding of people, places and cultures.

As global citizens we believe communities, economies and environments can only thrive in peace and collaboration. We value all human lives equally and encourage restraint. We stand together for peace and humanity. As such, we urge all governments to prioritize efforts to protect the rights of young people to have a safe place to live, free from threat or harm.”

Say HI For Peace

A celebration, every 21 September of the positive impact travel has on peace building 

At HI we believe that exploration and travel lead to a better understanding of other cultures, and in turn, this creates a peaceful, smarter, and more tolerant world. As such we believe it is important to promote tolerance and peace by celebrating the UN’s International Day of Peace through our Say Hi for Peace (previously Sleep for Peace) campaign. The Say HI for Peace campaign was originally known as Sleep for Peace was established by HI USA in 2013 in recognition of the important role hostels play in promoting cultural diversity and fostering intercultural exchanges that can lead to global dialogue.  

The idea was adopted by Hostelling International in 2015, it has since spread to HI hostels in over 32 countries and has gained the support of the UNWTO. HI hostels offer safe, quality environments that are ideal platforms for stimulating meaningful conversations and creating connections that can last a lifetime. Participating hostels, host events that promote the importance of travel in encouraging tolerance through opening global conversations. Throughout the week, hostels in the HI network around the world will synchronise celebratory efforts, rallying around a single message, and adding their own flavour to it, reflecting the uniqueness of each location and each hostel’s role.  Our initiative is supported by the UNWTO and has been growing in numbers and more importantly in significance over the years. 

 “Every time we travel, we break all stereotypes and all misgivings. […] And it paves the way for dialogue, mutual understanding and tolerance. These are all cornerstones of a culture of peace and security.”
 Taleb Rifai
former Secretary General of the UNWTO

HI Sustainability Fund

Working towards achieving carbon neutrality 

For over 100 years the hostelling movement has been a pioneer of sustainable practices. We are partners of myclimate to help offset your overnights and we have a Sustainability Fund to support hostel initiatives.

Since 2013, the HISF has caught the attention of, more than, 65,000 people who have supported and voted for their favourite projects.   

When choosing to offset your overnight, you also contribute 0.10 GBP per night to finance sustainable initiatives that reduce the carbon emissions of our hostels. In order to decide which great projects to support, we run a yearly competition in which we ask you, our guests, our sustainability coordinators and an international jury to choose their favourites. 

Over the last 7 years, 23 projects have been selected for their innovative contributions towards reducing C02 emissions and their work towards achieving sustainable livelihoods. Collectively the prize fund has totalled £170,000, received from over 238,000 unique donations, all of which have gone directly into funding each of these 23 inspiring projects.  

Through these projects, the hostels have  reduced their CO2 emissions by  approximately 670 tonnes per annum, and prove their commitment to the HI Sustainability Strategy, the SDGs and proven themselves as inspirational role models within the HI network. These projects serve as a springboard for ideas, generating a trickle-down effect, encouraging continuous improvement for others and engaging our guests. 

Implementing Sustainable Projects Since 2013

HISF 2013

HISF 2014

HISF 2015

HISF 2016

HISF 2017

HISF 2018 & 2019

HISF 2020

What the winners say

"The 20,000 guests who stay annually at YHA Boggle Hole have given a big thumbs up to the work we have done to improve our sustainability, if we didn’t have interpretation on site no one would be any the wiser that the photovoltaic panels which produce electricity were one of a number measures introduced here during the redevelopment of the site to help improve our sustainability, reducing operating costs and CO2 emissions."
Simon Ainley
Head of Capital Fundraising and Partners at YHA England and Wales 
«Unfortunately, the first world is filled with wasteful, damaging practices - but the upside is that it's pretty easy to make improvements, if you keep your eyes open and apply change where you live.  I encourage all hostel managers to benchmark where they are at, introduce change and measure improvements - the successes measured are a source of pride for the team and motivation to find new initiatives.»
Ken Campbell
General Manager HI Banff Alpine Centre, HI Wilderness Properties, Canada  


Offsetting over 6,420 Tonnes of Carbon since 2012 

Since 2012 we have been in partnership with myclimate with the goal of fighting climate change through calculating and compensating for CO2 emission by working with hostels and offering guests the option to mitigate their CO2 emissions when booking overnight stays. This option is currently offered in 35 countries. All contributions flow to three international myclimate UN Gold Standard Projects where we provide new jobs, contribute to local growth and increased levels of health. 

Our Certificates

«Tourism contributes to climate change, but it can also offer solutions that pave the way to a sustainable society. The tourism industry offers opportunities for innovation. It is therefore important that in a changing world, tourism makes better use of its innovative power and its broad emotional impact for sustainable economic activity and life. Hostelling International leads the way with extensive analyses and studies as well as the successful opportunity to take responsibility of one's own carbon footprint with the integration in its booking platform to offer “climate neutral hostel stays”. This consistent approach makes Hostelling International an exemplary partner of myclimate and in our eyes one of the “game changers” of the future.»
Dr. Urs Egger
Chairman of myclimate Foundation 

Hi Connect

Facilitating mobility and capacity building 

HI-Connect has been facilitating capacity building across the HI Network since 2013, through the mobility of staff, volunteers and others. The programme provides staff and where appropriate, volunteers and young people with a unique opportunity to experience life and work in another country and offers the opportunity

  • to enhance life skills and confidence 
  • to engage within our sustainability projects  
  • to embrace the culture and environment of the host county  
  • to enhance their ability to learn another language 
  • to create new friendships and promote mobility of people across boundaries 

Regardless of what your personal and professional objectives are, you can rely on certain solid elements to guarantee the quality of your mobility activity, to ensure this we provide the following 

What past participants say 

«I really recommend it. […] Meeting people and visiting the country is really unique and it is so nice to see how other colleagues of yours in other countries are working. […] Everywhere is the HI-Vibe.»
from the Netherlands
«The staff were all so friendly, even though my Spanish isn't great, we all had fun trying to learn about each other. The island was beautiful, I had a lot of free time to explore the many beaches!»
from England & Wales