Prince Harry launches drive to promote sustainable tourism

OTAs, TripAdvisor and Visa unite to front catalyst for change

His Royal Highness Prince Harry is leading the charge for a new initiative co-founded by Booking.com, Ctrip, Skyscanner, TripAdvisor and Visa, that aspires to change the impact of travel, for good.

Travalyst‘ is a new global partnership that aims to improve conservation and environmental protection, and encourage sustainable tourism practices across the travel industry.

Led by His Royal Highness, this first-of-its-kind initiative is dedicated to exploring and promoting solutions that will make travel more sustainable. The founding partners will use their position linking consumers with operators, to educate, raise awareness and promote positive change.

“I am not a tourism or business expert, but through my travels I have observed the unique relationship between community and environment – and have noticed something alarming,” the Duke of Sussex said.

“There wasn’t the symbiosis or connection there needed to be and I wanted to understand why. I am one of those people fortunate enough to have a platform and I want to use it to tackle hard problems, in the hope of finding solutions,” he said.

Prince Harry continued: “Travalyst is a first-of-its-kind coalition, a united front of businesses dedicated to making travel an engine for sustainability. Over the next few years, the members of Travalyst will work together to create incentives for organisations and destinations to do right by the places, spaces, and animals we all need to protect – at the same time, they’ll be making consumers aware of more ‘off-the-beaten-track’ places to share the impact as well as the benefits with local communities.”

Travalyst said its bold partnership between OTA heavyweights, alongside TripAdvisor and Visa, is “paving a new way to travel; driving change to help everyone explore the world in a more sustainable manner, protecting people, places, and wildlife, and securing a positive future for destinations and local communities for many generations to come.”

“Working with companies, consumers and communities, the partnership will initially explore and promote solutions that help drive sustainable practices and consumer choices in areas including; supporting local people, protecting wildlife, tackling climate change and environmental damage, and alleviating over-tourism.”

As more people travel the impact on local communities and the environment increases, however the number of opportunities to do good with each trip taken increases too.

His Royal Highness 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.”

Among the partners’ priorities will be to work with local communities, engaging social entrepreneurs and promoting best practices, working with local communities, engaging social entrepreneurs and promoting best practice.

In its statement, Travalyst said, “More than half of all travellers say they are more determined to make more sustainable travel choices this year than they were last year – but many do not know how. Barriers include a lack of knowledge, perceived extra costs and not enough availability or appealing options when trying to put this into practice. That being said, impact on the local community and environment is a primary consideration for many travellers globally.”

Individuals and organisations can learn more about supporting Travalyst’s work by visiting www.travalyst.org

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