MCLEAN, Va. - Today Hilton HHonors, the loyalty program for Hilton Worldwide's 10 distinct brands, announced the launch of its Teacher Treks Travel Grant Competition. The program, developed in partnership with the Institute of International Education (IIE), one of the world's largest and most experienced international education and training organizations, will fund 15 teachers to travel and experience first-hand the subject they teach, enriching their curriculum and inspiring students to explore the world.

A recent survey commissioned by Hilton HHonors revealed nearly all (93 percent) of teachers surveyed identify themselves as "travelers" and agree that travel provides a cultural education that cannot fully be taught in a classroom. Spending an average of 1,200 hours with their students each year, teachers have the ability to do much more than teach - they can inspire, illuminate and enlighten the next generation of world citizens. The program will tap into these learnings by providing teachers with the tools to share their experiences with their students, families and local communities, thereby increasing the impact of their travel.

"With more than 34 million Hilton HHonors members worldwide, we see firsthand the profound impact travel and cultural experiences can have on people's lives, a philosophy that originated with our founder Conrad N. Hilton," said Jeff Diskin, executive vice president, Hilton Worldwide. "As curators of knowledge, teachers have an invaluable role in inspiring their students to learn about and experience other cultures, and the HHonors Teacher Treks program will help them bring their real-world experiences back to the classroom. Teacher Treks embodies our corporate responsibility commitment to Travel with Purpose and highlights our belief that celebrating cultures can foster greater understanding between people and nations."

Hilton HHonors is partnering with IIE to launch Teacher Treks. With more than 90 years of experience in managing educational and cultural exchanges, including the prestigious Fulbright Program for the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, IIE will support the program's objectives to internationalize classrooms and enhance curriculum by incorporating strong global understanding. IIE will design the selection process of the teachers as well as the pre-and post-departure cultural training and support teachers as they share their experiences with their students.

"Whether analyzing historic works of art or telling a riveting account of an ancient civilization, teachers are the ultimate conduits to help students expand their world view and cultural literacy," said Allan E. Goodman, president, Institute of International Education. "By partnering with a global hospitality company through the Hilton HHonors Teacher Treks Travel Grant Competition, we will help foster increased cultural understanding and support more people around the world to think, act and live as global citizens."

Teacher Treks details
K-12 teachers from across the United States and Puerto Rico are invited to enter for the chance to travel, explore and share culture with their students and colleagues.

To enter, teachers can visit www.hhonors.com/TeacherTreks or the HHonors Facebook page, www.facebook.com/HiltonHHonors, to enter their submission by March 15, 2013. Along with a photo, they will need to submit:

  • Two essays between 300 and 600 words, detailing their proposed global adventure and their plan for sharing their experiences with students and colleagues
  • A 140-character entry summary, telling voters why they should win
  • A letter of recommendation from their school's principal

Awards
• Winners: 15 winners will receive a trip valued at $6,000 to travel to a destination of their choice; in addition to the trip, each winning teachers' school will also receive a $2,500 grant to use for cultural activities or enhancements
• Runners-up: 15 runners-up will each receive a $2,500 grant for their school to use for cultural activities or enhancements
• One winner from all submissions will receive a cultural excursion for their classroom valued at $1,500
• From those that voted in the Teacher Treks competition, 10 random winners will receive one Hilton HHonors Gift Card valued at $250

Selecting the Winners
Teacher Treks winners and runners-up will be selected through an expert panel and public votes:

  • Thirty finalists will be selected by a panel of judges that includes teachers and other education experts selected by IIE
  • After the 30 finalists are selected, voting will open to the public on Monday, April 8, 2013; one vote can be cast by each individual voter every day during the period at www.hhonors.com/TeacherTreks
  • Voting for the 15 winners will close on Tuesday, April 30, 2013

For more information on entry requirements, full Terms and Conditions, or to enter and vote, please visit www.hhonors.com/TeacherTreks. Winners will be announced in May 2013.

About the Institute of International Education
The Institute of International Education (IIE) is a world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 18 offices worldwide and over 1,000 member institutions. IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government agencies, foundations and corporations. IIE also conducts policy research and program evaluations, and provides advising and counseling on international education and opportunities abroad.

About Hilton HHonors Teacher Treks Survey
Edelman Berland, a full-service market research and strategic consulting agency, conducted a national 5-minute online survey on October 8-10, 2012 among a sample of 1,017 U.S. teachers of grades K - 12. The margin of error (MOE) for the audience (n=1,017) is +3.1% and all significance tests were conducted at the 95% confidence level.

Contacts:
Scott Carman
Hilton Worldwide
+1 (703) 883-5803
scott.carman@hilton.com

About Hilton HHonors
Hilton HHonors is the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton’s 13 distinct hotel brands, spanning more than 4,700 hotels, resorts and timeshare properties across 104 countries and territories. Hilton HHonors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else, free standard Wi-Fi and popular digital tools available exclusively through the industry-leading Hilton HHonors mobile app, where HHonors members can check-in, choose their room, and access their room using a Digital Key. With more than 55 million members, HHonors offers hundreds of ways to earn and redeem Points. Members can redeem their Points for free nights, premium merchandise, charitable contributions, or unique events through the HHonors auction platform(hhonors.com/auctions), such as exclusive artist experiences and hotel concert events with Live Nation® or a race experience with the McLaren-Honda Formula 1 team. HHonors members’ loyalty is also rewarded with more personalized service. There is no cost to join, and travelers may enroll online by visiting www.HiltonHHonors.com or connect with Hilton HHonors at news.hiltonhhonors.com.

About Hilton
Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company, comprising more than 4,700 managed, franchised, owned and leased hotels and timeshare properties with over 775,000 rooms in 104 countries and territories. For 97 years, Hilton has been dedicated to continuing its tradition of providing exceptional guest experiences. The company's portfolio of 13 world-class global brands includes Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Canopy by Hilton, Curio - A Collection by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton by Hilton, Tru by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages an award-winning customer loyalty program, Hilton HHonors®. Hilton HHonors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to benefits including an exclusive member discount, free standard Wi-Fi, as well as digital amenities that are available exclusively through the industry-leading Hilton HHonors app, where Hilton HHonors members can check-in, choose their room, and access their room using a Digital Key. Visit news.hiltonworldwide.com for more information and connect with Hilton on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, LinkedIn, and Instagram.