Hostelling International (HI), a federation of more than 70 National Youth Hostel Associations in more than 80 countries, has announced that the 54th HI Conference will be held in Qatar in 2022. The announcement was made after Qatar won the vote by a wide majority at the HI Conference recently held in Iceland. The biennial conference, which will take place in October 2022 in Doha, is expected to draw more than 120 HI representatives, hostel operators, and travel enthusiasts from around the world. HI CEO Darren Barker expressed being pleased with Qatar’s generous offer to host the event saying, “I am really happy to be going to Qatar and absorbing the culture this region has to offer. Very excited indeed, well done to Qatar.”
Qatar’s winning joint bid to host the conference demonstrates the success of Qatar Youth Hostel (QYH) and the National Tourism Council (NTC) in promoting the country as a youth-friendly tourism destination.
“The majority vote win to bring the 54th HI conference to Doha shows confidence by youth hostels worldwide in the country’s ability to host an exceptional event,” NTC official Ahmed al-Obaidli said in a press statement. “We look forward to embracing the spirit of hospitality and exploration embodied by HI and welcoming hospitality professionals from all over the world at the HI conference,” he added.
In the lead-up to the bid, QHY worked on building relations with a number of youth organisations such as YHA Australia, FUAJ France, DJH Germany, AIG Italy, HI Korea, HI-USA and joined several exciting programmes offered by HI. Qatar is now a participant in HI-Connect, an employment scheme which allows youths to stay free at select HI locations around the world in exchange for working at HI hostels. Additionally, QYH offers discounts on nightly rates to HI members through the organisation’s Digital Membership.
“I would like to thank all those who supported our bid, particularly the Ministry of Culture and Sport, NTC and Qatar Museums. I would like also to thank all HI members for their confidence in us,” QYH CEO Ahmed Hassan al-Obaidly said. In total, Qatar hosted 99 exhibitions and 58 conferences in 2017—a 30% increase compared to 2015.
Qatar also recently won the rights to host the All Together Better Health conference in 2020 and both the AICR (The International Association for Deputy Managers and Front Office Managers of Luxury Hotels) congress and Les Clefs d’Or International Congress in 2021.
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