BRUSSELS (19 JANUARY, 2017): An innovative urban art project for at-risk youth, sponsored by Park Inn by Radisson, was a big winner at last night’s UNWTO awards ceremony at the International Tourism Trade Fair in Madrid, Spain. The “Adding Color to Lives” project that brings together youth in difficult life situations for a community art project expressing their dreams and cultural heritage, won the UNWTO Award for Excellence and Innovation in Enterprises. The award-winning project couples community youth with renowned street artist Joel Bergner, Park Inn by Radisson hotel staff and members of the community, who create large scale urban murals in their local neighborhoods. The murals are part of a long term engagement of Park Inn by Radisson hotels with vulnerable youth on various levels: as mentors, coaches, for sports & cultural activities and to grow the youth’s employability skills and increase their outlook on decent jobs and a better future overall.
“Adding Color to Lives is a great program in support of the U.N. International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development,” said Inge Huijbrechts, Vice President, Responsible Business. “From a single individual to our surrounding communities—and expanding to points across the globe—it creates a ripple effect of positive change, allowing us to add color to the young people’s lives. The long term connection between our more than 140 Park Inn by Radisson hotels worldwide and local youth-at-risk also contribute to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 8 on Providing decent work for all.”
The Adding Color to Lives program will continue to run in 2017, with its first Park Inn by Radisson mural in the U.S., in Sharon, Penn.
Other winners of this year’s awards include ANVR (Dutch Travel & Trade Association), Govardhan Ecovillage and Tony and Maureen Wheeler, founders of the Lonely Planet.
Innovation in Stakeholder Engagement, Education and Collaboration
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The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. UNWTO promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability and offers leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies worldwide.
UNWTO has acknowledged and awarded the contribution of distinguished scholars, inspiring **leaders, as well as more than 60 initiatives from the public and private sector, as well as national governmental offices (NGOs). Their achievements have served as an inspiration for competitive and sustainable tourism development at a local, national, regional and international level.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
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About Park Inn® by Radisson
Park Inn by Radisson**®** is a colorful, dynamic, midscale hotel brand providing a hassle-free and easy hotel experience. Friendly. Positive. Vibrant. Uncomplicated. Park Inn by Radisson is designed for modern travellers. We are Adding Color to LifeSM through our flexible and functional spaces, our people and our energy at any of our 140+ hotels across the globe.
Park Inn by Radisson is a part of Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, which also includes Quorvus Collection, Radisson Blu®, Radisson®, Radisson RED, Park Plaza® and Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM. For more information and reservations visit, www.parkinn.com. Connect with Park Inn by Radisson on social media: @ParkInn on Twitter, @ParkInnbyRadisson on Instagram and Facebook.com/ParkInn
ABOUT CARLSON REZIDOR HOTEL GROUP
Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group is one of the world’s largest and most dynamic hotel groups and includes 1,400 hotels in operation and under development with more than 220,000 rooms and a footprint spanning 115 countries and territories. The Carlson Rezidor portfolio includes a powerful set of global brands: Quorvus Collection, Radisson Blu®, Radisson®, Radisson RED, Park Plaza®, Park Inn® by Radisson and Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM. In most hotels, guests can benefit from Club CarlsonSM, one of the 2015 – 2016 “Top Three Hotel Rewards Programs” as ranked by U.S. News and World Report. Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group and its brands employ 90,000 people worldwide and is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., and Brussels, Belgium. For more information, visit www.carlsonrezidor.com and follow on Twitter @carlsonrezidor and linkedin.com/company/2364.
ABOUT JOEL BERGNER
Joel Bergner is an artist, educator and organizer of community-based public art initiatives with young people and families around the world. He works in acrylic and aerosol, creating elaborate paintings and public murals that explore social topics and reflect a wide array of artistic influences. Joel has facilitated community mural projects in Syrian refugee camps in the Middle East, juvenile detention centers in the US, and the shantytowns of Kenya, India and Brazil. Joel’s work has been featured extensively in media, including Al-Jazeera English, NPR (National Public Radio), Arise TV, Reuters, AFP (Agence-France Presse), Voice of America, the New York Times, TIME magazine, and the *Washington Post, *among many others. https://joelartista.com