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100 de ani de existanta a HI

100th Anniversary of the Hostelling International

the statement of young volunteers and hostelling professionals from the Central and East European Region
YH Igman, Sarajevo, 8th of August 2009

The representatives of nine Central and East European Youth Hostel Associations, 36 young volunteers and professionals, met in Youth Hostel Feri in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina from 7th to 9th August 2009 in remembrance of the 100th Anniversary of Hostelling International(HI).

YH Feri, situated in the Mountain of Igman, famous venue of the Winter Olympic Games in 1984, is a strong symbol as the newest Youth Hostel in the CEE Region, destroyed in the War 1992?1995 but rebuilt and opened in December 2008 in the name of reconciliation, peace and International understanding. That value, among the others, also led by Richard Schirrmann, the founder of the Hostelling International Movement, German teacher who opened a very first permanent Youth Hostel in the World ? Burg Altena in 1909. In the very same time the idea of budget travelling and learning about the nature spread in the CEE Region as well as in other European Countries. Youth Hostel Associations were founded after the WWI in several CEE Countries. Very first permanent hostels were opened in Bled (Slovenia) and Dubrovnik (Croatia) in 1938 and they still serve the International hostellers from all over the World, among the 700 other hostels in the Region, which are members of the worldwide family of Hostelling International ? the modern but unique chain of 4,500 hostels on all continents.
Globalization, as a process which rapidly increased communication opportunities among the people, opened new needs as well as new possibilities to learn more about the World we live in.

The Mission of the Hostelling International is written in the Constitution of the International Youth Hostel Federation:
To promote the education of all young people of all nations, but especially young people of limited means, by encouraging in them a greater knowledge, love and care of the countryside and an appreciation of the cultural values of towns and cities in all parts of the world, and as ancillary thereto, to provide hostels or other accommodation in which there shall be no distinctions of race, nationality, colour, religion, sex, class or political opinions and thereby to develop a better understanding of their fellow men, both at home and abroad.
After almost one century of the hostelling experience this mission is directly matching modern challenges of youth and those who feel young as well.

HI Hostels today provide affordable services of high quality. That is very important in the time when we live through the global recession. They create a real difference in the Youth Tourism market, being much more then accommodation units but also the meeting places of young people from different societies, developing the culture of tolerance and understanding, learning and appreciation.
Some of the national governments and Tourism authorities in the CEE Region do not recognize and understand enough of the strength of Youth Tourism and hostelling itself. We call them to be aware of the fact that 20% of all income in tourism industry is provided by young travelers. Successful and popular tourist destinations invest a lot in order to meet the expectations of young travelers who are trendsetters in tourism. They know that without young tourists they can not be competitive.
Remembering the 100th Anniversary of the Hostelling International we call media in Central and Eastern Europe to support and promote messages and values of the Hostelling Mission, bringing them closer and understandable to youth across the borders, national tourism authorities and tourism professionals. We strongly hope that the Hostelling idea could help all of us to learn more and understand better, to travel easy and safe, to meet the people and keep the Peace.

Representatives from:
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia.

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