Prince Harry has launched a new global initiative encouraging sustainable travel and tourism

Harry also addressed the criticism him and Meghan received after their private jet flights last month.
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Prince Harry has just launched a new global initiative in collaboration with a number of significant travel and tourism giants striving to change the impact of travel for good by putting communities at the heart of the solution.

The Duke of Sussex flew to Amsterdam on Tuesday to launch the initiative, coined Travalyst, the first to be launched under his and Duchess Meghan’s new charitable foundation, Sussex Royal.

According to Harper’s Bazaar Prince Harry spent two years working on the project, where he has partnered with the likes of, CTrip, Skyscanner, TripAdvisor and Visa.

The name of the initiative comes from Harry and the partners viewing their role in sustainable travel as ‘catalysts’ to accelerate positive changes in travel, combined with travel to become Travalyst.

Travalyst aims to make travel more sustainable, to help protect destinations and benefit communities long into the future, and to enable consumers to make more environmental friendly choices while traveling.

In a speech at Amsterdam’s A’Dam Tower at the launch of the initiative Prince Harry explained: “Over the last ten years, as I have developed my work in conservation, I have learned so much from the experiences I’ve had and the people I’ve met in places like Botswana and the Caribbean, Nepal and New Zealand.

“What is clear across this vast landscape is that our world faces environmental challenges of unprecedented scope and scale. From deforestation and the loss of biodiversity, to ocean plastics and poaching, the problems can sometimes seem too big to fix.”

The idea of Travalyst, Harry explains, is not to stop or discourage travel, but to push for a new way to work together, across sectors, borders, cultures and generations, to re-orientate the entire travel industry toward sustainability and equity – for eco-conscious travel to become mainstream rather than niche – and to tackle the problem of over-tourism, which is severely impacted some of the world’s most-loved places.

Prince Harry flew to Amsterdam on Tuesday to launch Travalyst – an initiative looking to transform the travel industry for the better. (Image: Getty)

In a statement Harry added: “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 out best chance to protect destinations and ecosystems for future generations.”

On the initiative’s website it explains it’s not just about the personal choices each traveller makes, it’s about a major shift in the way the world travels.

“As Travalyst partners, we are making this a priority – and we want to encourage our peers, business partners, and consumers to do so as well. How we get there, where we stay and what we do matters.

Prince Harry said visiting countries like New Zealand has helped him learn about the vast environmental challenges our world faces. (Image: Getty)

Of course, the launch of Travalyst comes just weeks after Harry and Meghan were accused of not practicing what they preached, when they took four private jet flights within four weeks to travel on two family holidays in Europe.

In fact, according to Harper’s Bazaar, during the launch in Amsterdam, which Harry flew to on a commercial flight, Harry was asked about his travel choices.

“I spend 99 per cent of my life traveling the Earth commercial,” Harry responded.

“But occasionally I have to make the decision not to, to ensure my family are safe.”

Concluding his speech before introducing the partners of the initiative Harry said: “If conducted responsibly, tourism can benefit communities for generations. It can build schools, create jobs, strengthen safety nets – and it can create a virtuous cycle, as communities protect what promotes further tourism.

“Sustainability and economic stability, we believe, are two sides of the same coin. After all, healthy ecosystems are the lifelines for all of us.”

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