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Hostelling International

From Academic Kids

Hostelling International, formerly known as International Youth Hostel Federation (IYHF), is the federation of more than 90 national youth hostel associations in more than 80 countries who run over 4,500 youth hostels and youth hotels around the world. They include the Youth Hostels Association (YHA) in England and Wales and the Scottish Youth Hostels Association (SYHA) in Scotland (founded in 1931). They act under the common brand Hostelling International.

The Youth Hostel movement was begun in 1909 by Richard Schirrmann, a German schoolteacher who saw the need for overnight accommodation for school groups so that they could experience the countryside. This started with schools being used during the holidays. The first Jugendherberge {Youth Hostel) was opened in Schirrmann's own school, in Altena, Westphalia. In 1912 it was replaced by a permanent hostel in Altena Castle, and there is still a hostel in the castle grounds today. He founded the nation-wide German Youth Hostel Association in 1919.

The movement spread rapidly worldwide. The Youth Hostels Association of Great Britain formed as a joint initiative between rambling, cycling and youth organisations, then in 19301931 it founded separate associations in England and Wales (the YHA), Scotland (the SYHA) and in Ireland.

The International Youth Hostel Federation was founded on 20 October 1932 in Amsterdam by representatives from associations in Switzerland, Czechoslovakia, Poland, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Britain, Ireland, France and Belgium. In 1933 Richard Schirrmann, the founder of the German youth hostel association, became the chairman but was forced to resign by the Nazis in 1936.

The organisation provides services for travellers and coordinates the national organisations. It also facilitates youth work and international understanding. The office is based in Welwyn Garden City outside London.

External links

de:International Youth Hostel Federation

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