Prince Harry has joined forces with several major travel firms to launch a new global initiative to make travel more sustainable, coming just weeks after the Duke of Sussex received criticism of his private jet use for holidays.
Launched in partnership with Booking.com, Ctrip, Skyscanner, TripAdvisor and Visa as co-founders, Travalyst aims to promote sustainable tourism practices across the travel industry that will improve conservation, environmental protection and expand local community economic development.
This initiative brings together global businesses – those at the centre of connecting customers and operators in the travel market – to utilise their unique position to educate, raise awareness and promote positive change.
Working with companies, consumers and communities, the “bold new partnership” will initially push solutions that help drive sustainable practices and consumer choices in areas including the supporting of local people, protecting wildlife, tackling climate change and environmental damage as well as alleviating overtourism.
Travalyst is intended to capitalise on the strength and breadth of the global travel market, foster increased collaboration across the industry, and stimulate and support new solutions and initiatives in sustainable travel. The founding partners want to spark a movement of like-minded companies, organisations, NGOs, and changemakers to transform the future of travel into a more sustainable one.
The Duke of Sussex said: “Travel has the unparalleled power to open people’s minds to different cultures, new experiences and to have a profound appreciation for what our world has to offer. As tourism inevitably grows, it is critically important to accelerate the adoption of sustainable practices worldwide and to balance this growth with the needs of the environment and the local population. Bringing companies, consumers and communities together is our best chance to protect destinations and ecosystems for future generations.”
Chiefs of the other co-founders also echoed similar sentiments, with Bryan Dove, CEO, Skyscanner, saying that the biggest players in the travel industry “have a responsibility to use our collective scale to lead this change”.
“Collaboration is the only path forward if we want to create a real paradigm shift in travel,” added Gillian Tans, chairwoman, Booking.com. “Even though we don’t have all the answers yet, we are determined to find them together.”
No concrete plans or actions were shared by the companies involved in the Travalyst partnership, but a press statement issued stated that further details of new initiatives will be announced in due course.
Individuals and organisations can learn more about supporting this work by visiting www.travalyst.org.