Contribution of Youth Hostels in French-speaking Belgium
2 Jun 2020

Contribution of Youth Hostels in French-speaking Belgium.

The crisis is giving rise to a citizen's itinerant journey in the network of Youth Hostels in French-speaking Belgium

Borders closed, planes were grounded and youth hostels in Wallonia and Brussels closed their doors. The young people stayed at home and it was the pictures of the view from their windows that made the trip around the world. The teams of the Hostels are temporarily unemployed and this is financially a hard blow for our association, but the questions are animating us and consciences are waking up to help young people to build a more responsible way of travelling...

Will this crisis have a lasting impact on the way young people travel tomorrow? Will they develop a taste for shorter and closer trips? Time will tell...

At Les Auberges de Jeunesse (Youth Hostels), we remain convinced that the travel experience is a learning experience for life. As we emerge from the crisis, our hostels will be strengthened in their various missions. As in the past, as in
their origins, the Youth Hostels will participate tomorrow in the encounter between young people and the discovery of diversity. Since the beginning of this confinement, we have been working to set up a Citizen Tour through the 9 youth hostels of our association.

The idea is that of a journey in autonomy and roaming which allows the participants to :

  • give meaning to their journeydiscover
  • Wallonia and Brussels in an original, responsible and civic-minded way by making visits/activities that have been identified by our association within the framework of this citizen's path.
  • to integrate a network of people (all those who make the citizen tour)
  • defend the concept of responsible travel (by becoming Youth Hostel Ambassadors)

For our association, it is a project that allows, among other things:

  • to be at the heart of its training missions for young CSARC (Critical and Solidarity Active Responsible Citizens)
  • to make the existence of a network of youth hostels better known to the Belgian public
  • to make LAJ (Les Auberges de Jeunesse) better known as a responsible actor in the Youth Tourism sector
  • develop a network of youth hostel ambassadors
  • develop/strengthen relationships with local partners

It is a project that was planned for a while, but has taken on its full meaning with the current climate crisis: the challenge for this summer is to offer Belgian tourists responsible and attractive holidays close to home.

Les Auberges de Jeunesse

Sabrina Urrutia - ISTO 02-06-2020