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, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton Worldwide’s 10 distinct hotel brands, offers approximately 38 million members more ways to earn and redeem points than any other guest-loyalty program, enabling them to create experiences worth sharing at more than 4,000 hotels in 90 countries and territories. HHonors members can now redeem points for any room, anywhere, anytime, including the most luxurious suites, using any of four room rewards: Premium Room Rewards, Room Upgrade Rewards, Points & Money Rewards and Standard Room Rewards. In addition, HHonors members can use points to purchase unique experience rewards, merchandise and vacation packages, make charitable contributions and more. HHonors is also the only guest-loyalty program to offer ‘No Blackout Dates’ and ‘Points & Miles’ for the same stay at its properties worldwide, including participating Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels& Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Hotels, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. Membership in HHonors is free, and travelers may enroll online by visiting www.HiltonHHonors.com or connect with Hilton HHonors at news.hiltonhhonors.com.Members can now also book reservations, manage their accounts and redeem special offers with the new Hilton HHonors mobile app for iPhone.

About Hilton Worldwide
Hilton Worldwide (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company, spanning the lodging sector from luxury and full-service hotels and resorts to extended-stay suites and focused-service hotels. For 95 years, Hilton Worldwide has been dedicated to continuing its tradition of providing exceptional guest experiences. The company's portfolio of eleven world-class global brands is comprised of more than 4,100 managed, franchised, owned and leased hotels and timeshare properties, with more than 685,000 rooms in 92 countries and territories, including Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Curio - A Collection by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Hotels, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages an award-winning customer loyalty program, Hilton HHonors®.