Posted on December 07, 2018

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. Darren Barker, CEO of Hostelling International (HI) expressed being pleased with Qatar's generous offer to host the event. He commented, “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.”

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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 Qatar as a youth-friendly tourism destination. NTC official Ahmed Al Obaidli commented, "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." He added, "We look forward to embracing the spirit of hospitality and exploration embodied by Hostelling International and welcoming hospitality professionals from all over the world at the HI conference."

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.

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Ahmed Hassan Al-Obaidly, CEO of QYH, commented, "I would like to thank all those who supported our bid, particularly the Ministry of Culture and Sport, National Touriism Council (then referred to as Qatar Tourism Authority), and Qatar Museums. I would like also to thank all HI members for their confidence in us." 

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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