Thursday, 28.02

WS 7: Enhancing the role of Youth within the UNAOC National Plans and Regional Strategies to promote intercultural understanding: sharing of best practices – from building on booming Youth Travel experiences to student exchanges and youth festivals



  • Blerjana Bino, Social Entrepreneur, Researcher, Coordinator for Youth and Social Inclusion at the UET Centre for Development and Research, Albania
  • Amr Abdel-Ghaffar, Regional Director for the Middle East, UNWTO, Focal Point for the UNAOC, Egypt
  • Laura Daly, Special Advisor to Director General, WYSE Travel Confederation,
  • Chiedza Taruvinga, Member of the International Human Rights Exchange Program, Mozambique
  • Frank Frederics, Executive Director, World Faith, USA
  • Ilja Sichrovsky, Founder and Secretary General of the Muslim Jewish Conference

Rapporteur: Isabelle Tibi, UNAOC

Moderator: Daniel Cervan, UNAOC


New trends in the broad field of youth exchanges, travel and cultural events are enabling youngsters to create more meaningful connections with the people and places they encounter. These trends suggest that cultural opportunities linked with youth travel and collaborative actions are helping them to increasingly become more curious, appreciative and respectful of other cultures.

This workshop gathers partners of the Alliance who are main actors in the field of student exchanges, youth travel and tourism and youth initiatives in general. More importantly, youth will present their own perspectives, interests and expectations of such a growing industry.

Preliminary data extracted from the New Horizons III Survey will provide insights into the motivations and behaviors of young travelers, with a focus on cultural exchange programs. Data will serve as a basis for participants to analyze the positive effects and also potential risks of exposure to other cultures other than their own. Other experiences, such as for instance the organization of Youth Festivals, Summer Schools, etc. will be shared with participants.

Participants will participate in working groups that will put forward a series of recommendation on how the Alliance, in particular its education and youth programs can better respond to these new trends and capitalize on the opportunities.