Travel Bloggers Summit Attracts Over 46 Million Impressions for #StudyAbroadBecause

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                  CONTACT:  Taylor Nelson 

September 28, 2017                                                                                                             (202) 637 - 6206​​


Travel Bloggers Summit Attracts Over 46 Million Impressions for #StudyAbroadBecause

Top media influencers gather at HI NYC to promote peace through study abroad during the 2017 United Nations General Assembly

Three years since their prestigious White House visit in 2014, highly influential travel bloggers, celebrities, and journalists reconvened to promote transformative travel and study abroad while world leaders gathered at the 2017 United Nations General Assembly in New York City.

This three-day Summit was hosted by Partners of the Americas and Hostelling International (HI USA) at HI NYC, a historic landmark building and Manhattan’s largest privately owned green space.  Donning Virgin Atlantic sleepsuits, travel bloggers returned to their backpacker roots and bunked up to “Sleep for Peace” with 700+ other hostel guests from 88 countries around the world staying at the hostel.

Invite-only influencers of the Travel Blogger Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship heard from passionate celebrities, politicians, private sector innovators, and nonprofit leaders looking towards the future to positive global engagement through increased study abroad opportunities through government, nonprofit and private sector actors.  Speakers included:

  • Don Wildman, Celebrity TV host of Mysteries at the Museum, Travel Channel
  • Maher Nasser, Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications, United Nations
  • George Stone, Editor in Chief of National Geographic Traveler​

For the full program, complete with a National Geographic social media masterclass, click here.

As with the previous summit at the White House in December 2014, the conversations on social media soon outnumbered those flowing in person, especially since the travel bloggers were able to order in-flight service from Virgin Atlantic flight attendants via twitter throughout the program.  #StudyAbroadBecause on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube erupted on Friday, September 22nd as part of a large coordinated content share that included messaging from the Department of State, participating digitally from Washington DC.

Throughout the span of the Summit, more than 46 million impressions were shared, reaching more than 14 million individuals, and making the hashtag a trending topic on Twitter on September 22.  #StudyAbroadBecause is the official hashtag of the USA Study Abroad Office at the State Department promoting increased study abroad opportunities for American students.

Along with nonprofit hosts Partners of the Americas and Hostelling International USA, more than two dozen partners supported this event, including National Geographic, Global Citizen, Virgin Atlantic, Lonely Planet, Chipotle, Smithsonian, ONE, and more.  This support is testament to the power of the government, nonprofits, private sector partners and individual actors pledging time, resources, and collaborative spirit to promote opportunities for more Americans to travel, work, volunteer and study abroad.  

To conclude this unique reunion, all participants and partners were rewarded for their support with a Global Citizen Festival tickets and some of the lucky bloggers even went home with grand prize trips with Virgin Atlantic to the UK and a National Geographic journey to Peru.

Virgin Atlantic flight attendants delivered each Travel Blogger with a sleepsuit for their overnight stay at HI New York City hostel.​

A passionate Don Wildman, celebrity TV host at Travel Channel, delivers a moving testament to the power of Travel Blogging with ties to Central Park’s designer Frederick Law Olmsted.

Our fantastic travel blogger influencers

Maher Nasser, Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications, United Nations

John McPhail, President & CEO, Partners of the Americas

Russ Hedge, HI USA CEO, moderates a panel on advocacy, featuring Katie Denis, Project: Time Off; Andrew Gordon, Diversity Abroad, and; Mark Overmann, InterExchange

Kelley Louise of Travel + Social Good moderates a transformative travel story jam under the trees at HI NYC green space​


For more information about the Travel Blogger Summit on Study Abroad & Global Citizenship or the White House Travel Blogger Summit event in 2014, please contact Frances Holuba, Senior Advisor, Partners of the Americas

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About Partners of the Americas

The mission of Partners of the Americas is to connect people and organizations across borders to serve and to change lives through lasting partnerships. These partnerships create opportunity, foster understanding, and solve real-life problems.  Each year, Partners awards approximately 50–75 study abroad grants through its Education and Culture program, and has awarded 40 grants under The USA Study Abroad Diversity Fund in partnership with the State Department’s USA Study Abroad Office that was announced during the first Travel Blogger’s Summit.  Inspired by President Kennedy and founded in 1964 under the Alliance for Progress, Partners is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization with international offices in Washington, D.C. Learn more at or via Twitter @partnersamerica.

About Hostelling International USA

Hostelling International USA (HI USA) is a nonprofit organization that fosters a deeper understanding of people, places, and cultures for a more tolerant world.  As the nation’s leading hostel network, HI USA hosts around 1 million overnights annually, with guests from more than 100 countries across more than 50 hostels.  In 2014, HI USA co-hosted the first White House Travel Bloggers Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship.