2016 Winners


Best Youth Travel Blogger 2016

I am Ella

Winner: I am Ella

I am Ella is an affordable luxury lifestyle and travel blog which covers destinations and everything that Ella does in them. Objective of her blog is to showcase destinations in another light: make unromantic cities romantic again, make big cities local, break the typical sightseeing and showing it from a more lifestyle perspective. She doesn’t travel as a tourist, she travels as a local.

I am Ella has 330000 followers on social, about 100000 unique visitors and 1 million page views per month.




Outstanding Volunteer Project 2016

greenheart travel

Winner: Greenheart Travel and Rescue Paws Project 

Greenheart Travel & Rescue Paws ( in Prachuap Kirikan Province, Thailand) have been international partners since 2014. Greenheart Travel works to support the rescue centre by sending volunteers to contribute time & effort into the ongoing work of the centre. Volunteers work to improve the quality of life for these dogs by performing over 300 sterilisations and nearly 600 vaccinations each year. In December, Greenheart Travel was thrilled to award $3,500 as part of our annual “Give Back” donation to Rescue Paws. The money was donated to help purchase more kennels and create a recreational area and adoption zone for the area dogs and puppies. These additions will double the size of the clinic, allowing the staff to treat and release nearly four times the amount of dogs. This project also provides warmth, comfort, security, companionship, as well as protection from disease, injury and stress.





Best Green Accommodation Initiative 2016

YHA New Zealand

Winner: YHA New Zealand

YHA New Zealand’s drive is to operate an environmentally responsible tourism business.

Their green initiatives include:

Installation of Solar energy systems in their Franz Josef Hostel (the largest system in New Zealand’s West Coast), installation of the largest solar powered hot water system in the accommodation sector in New Zealand in their Wellington hostel and commitment to the globally recognised Certified Emissions Measurement and Reduction Scheme (CEMARS).

Learn more about YHA New Zealand’s  environmental committments here.




Best Social Responsibility Initiative 2016


Winner: STA Travel

In January 2016, STA Travel formed a global fundraising partnership with CanTeen Australia, CanTeen New Zealand, Teenage Cancer Trust UK and Teen Cancer America. It  was the first time in the world that four teenage cancer trusts have been brought together to work on a global campaign, in partnership with a major youth travel company. The partnership engages staff and customers and aims to raise vital funds and awareness to support young people with cancer. In the first seven months of their partnership, STA Travel globally raised USD $90k. The funds will help the charities provide support services to young people and their families (such as education, workshops and counselling), purchase medical equipment within charity hospital wards and/or pay for nurses and counsellors.

Learn more about the initiative here.




Best Work Experience Provider 2016

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 19.20.09

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 2016


Winner: Tipi

Tipi helps travellers check-in to their next hostel on their mobile – before they get on the plane.
Travellers can meet other guests staying at the same time, sign-up to hostel activities & skip the queue on arrival. Tipi was launched in March 2016 at Base & Nomads hostels in AU/NZ. Tipi makes check-in easier for travellers & more social and makes it easier for hostels to communicate with their guests – from booking, during their stay & after they leave.




Best Marketing Campaign 2016


Winner: STA Travel with #STATRAVELSQUAD campaign with Contiki

STA Travel gave away an entire Contiki coach touring Europe and created the #STATRAVELSQUAD. The #STATRAVELSQUAD winners started in London as 50 strangers, and ended in Barcelona as the ultimate squad.

Contiki July pax volume jumped 108% vs previous year, with revenue up 200% for the month versus previous year. Results included: 75.9K hits to the #STATRAVELSQUAD online competition page – 33.8K hits to the #STATRAVELSQUAD landing page – 17.6K entries to the #STATRAVELSQUAD online competition




Extraordinary Experience 2016

        Alliance Abroad group

Winner: Alliance Abroad Group with Thato Khasuli

Thato’s tenacity, perseverance and humility paid off, and his personal journey of his thousand miles began with a single step to volunteer for WYSTC. He was selected among his peers to receive a year-long, paid internship in the United States, interning at luxury resort in New Hampshire and learning various aspects of hospitality industry.
During his internship tenure, Thato submitted an essay for a Department of State sponsored program. His thoughts on leadership was selected among hundreds of other submissions, and he was given the opportunity to visit Washington D.C.. Thato seized this opportunity to form many professional and personal connections that he intends to cultivate as he further develops his career ambitions and pursuits.
He believes this experience has opened doors of opportunity and education that would never have been possible otherwise.

Learn more about Thato’s extraordinary experience here.




Best Education Abroad Provider 2016


Winner: Sentio, Inc.

Sentio is a not-for-profit global education network that was created in 2014 as a subsidiary of AFS Intercultural Programs, Inc. (“AFS”) to provide intercultural learning opportunities and to help people develop the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to create a more just and peaceful world. The Sentio network brings together hosting providers and sending recruiters for programs abroad; through university education, internships, teaching, volunteer programs, and language learning abroad for participants 18 years and older. Regardless of program type, the core of each program is personal development through our innovative blended learning educational program, the Global Competence Certificate.


Consumer Voted Awards:


Best Youth Travel Airline 2016


Winner: Emirates




Best Youth Accommodation 2016


Winner: Generator




Best Youth Tour Operator 2016


Winner: I Love Travel




Best Youth Travel Agent 2016


Winner: Student Universe