2015 Winners

Best Youth Travel Blogger 2015


Winner: I am Aileen

Aileen left her corporate job in the Philippines at 21 to travel the world. Today, she is a digital
nomad and entrepreneur living a sustainable travel lifestyle.

Through her blog, Aileen aims to inspire others to share the joy of travelling and the joy of doing what they love to do and
to send the message that following one’s passion is always the best choice.




Outstanding Volunteer Project 2015


Winner: Blue Ventures Expeditions with the Belize Lionfish Expeditions project

The focus of the project was investigating lionfish impact on the reef and
juvenile reef fish. As this invasive species has no native predators it poses a huge threat to Belize’s fisheries, especially the Belize
Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Since 2011, Blue Ventures has pioneered efforts to commercialise Belize’s nascent lionfishery by working with fishers, consumers, restaurants, fishing cooperatives and seafood distributors. To achieve this they have stepped outside the traditional scope of NGOs and ecotourism organisations.




Best Green Accommodation Initiative 2015


Winner: The Backpack


The Backpack strives to reduce the environmental impact of their business by conserving energy, the sustainable use of
resources, the use of environmentally friendly products and educating their guests to manage and reduce waste.
In 2015 they installed a Solar Hybrid system with solar panels and batteries, which reduced electricity
usage and provided limited 3500 Kilo Watts of electricity. All their water is heated with solar energy and heat pumps.




Best Social Responsibility Initiative 2015


Winner: The Backpack

The backpack make a difference in their community by addressing and helping the social needs of the
economically and socially disadvantaged communities of South Africa, working towards a just society in
which all people get to share in the wealth of the country and offering their guests the opportunity to get
involved in outreach programmes.




Best Work Experience Provider 2015

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Winner: Austern International


Austern International is  a student-run organisation designed for students. The organisation applies a strict control on quality by implementing a
learning system where the students not only experience the business environment of the firm, they also get
to contribute something meaningful and new to the business to help solve some of their problems.
This in turn brings value to both parties.




 Best Travel Technology product 2015


Winner: Tripr


Tripr was launched in December 2014 as a MVP product to connect travellers and allow them
to meet other people before they even reach their destination.
The app received sensational feedback with 10k downloads in the space of one week along
with press reviews from The Economist, Huffington Post, The Times and Daily Mail.




Best Marketing Campaign 2015


Winner: STA Travel


STA Travel ran a successful campaign in cooperation with Tourism Philippines that resonated with their target audience.
Between 1 January and 12 July 2015, 4,385 people were booked on flights to the Philippines through STA Travel,
compared to just 2,725 in the 2014 calendar year, meaning a 61% jump in air sales during and after the campaign period.




Extraordinary Experience 2015


Winner: International Student Volunteers

Jordan Luongo was a Public Health and Health Education college major who took part in a  four week program in South Africa in May 2015.
Jordan volunteered on an ISV community development project with local South African project partner, spending over 80 hours with a team of 13 ISV volunteers on assigned project tasks.
With a Public Health and Health Education college major, Jordan had the idea to build a ‘Tippy Tap’,
a hands-free way to wash your hands of great use to rural areas without running water.



The WYSE Award 2015


Winner: Michael McCarry

Micheal McCarry from the Alliance for International Educational and Cultural Exchange, who retired at the end of 2015, was awarded the WYSE Award
in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the youth, student and educational travel industry,
supporting the WYSE Travel Confederation members and J1 sponsors in the USA.


Consumer Voted Awards:


Best Youth Travel Airline 2015


Winner: Emirates




Best Youth Destination 2015


Winner: London




Best Youth Accommodation 2015


Winner: Generator




Best Youth Tour Operator 2015


Winner: Rustic Pathways




Best Youth Travel Agent 2015



Winner: Student Universe