Visionary volunteer wins IHIF 2015 Young Leader Award

Greg Bows, founder and managing director of African Impact, has been named the winner of the IHIF 2015 Young Leader Award. The award will be presented at next month's International Hotel Investment Forum in Berlin. The award is presented by IHIF, in conjunction with the International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC).

African Impact is a volunteering organization in Africa employing over 170 people between Cape Town and Nairobi. The group has currently placed over 12,500 volunteers across 94 projects in Africa. Bows, a UK national, joined the organization at the age of 18 following a period of travel around Africa. His role ranges from setting the company vision to running daily operations while continuously ensuring that African Impact attracts people from across the world to experience volunteer travel.

On being announced winner, Bows said: “"Winning this award has left me both humbled and thrilled. Aside from the personal honour, this award is an important recognition of the volunteer travel industry. In building African Impact over the last decade and helping shape responsible tourism through this, I am confident in the power that volunteer travel can have in generating positive change globally. To be acknowledged by an industry forum as influential as the IHIF is hugely gratifying and very exciting.”

Tess Pearson, event director, Questex Media Group, hosts of IHIF, commented: “The IHIF Young Leader Award is just one aspect which sets this event apart from others. We take immense pride in investing time and energy, along with ISHC, to organise this award which recognises the considerable contribution these young leaders are making to our industry. Greg was an exceptional candidate, responsible for raising the profile of volunteer tourism - an emerging area of the sector, and we are thrilled to be able to name him as the winner of the IHIF Young Leader Award 2015.”

Andrea Belfanti, executive director, ISHC, said: “Even as this is the seventh year ISHC has partnered with IHIF to present this award, the nominees still astonish me. They are outstanding young leaders in the hospitality industry.  This year’s winner, Greg Bows, is a shining example of why we continue to make this award a priority. He has passion and drive that is rarely seen.  I am honoured to have Greg as this year’s winner.”

Andrew Connolly, co-founder, African Impact said: “Using Greg’s passion for providing amazing experiences to tourists in the hospitality world and making tourism a real force for social change, African Impact has been a true success. Greg’s commitment and effort should be rewarded which is why I nominated him for this award.”
The award will be presented during a morning plenary session at IHIF on March 3rd. The latest version of the 18th IHIF program is available to view here.  Further information can be found at