Sussex Royal, Prince Harry’s new charitable foundation, has launched Travalyst, an initiative to promote sustainable travel. The global project is a collaboration between Booking.com, Ctrip, Skyscanner, TripAdvisor and Visa, who will work to improve conservation efforts, protect the environment and help improve the economies of communities that depend upon the tourist industry.
At the launch of Travalyst in Amsterdam this last week, Harry said the project was in part inspired by a seven-year-old boy he met while visiting the Caribbean, who told him: “Because of your country, my country’s coral reef is dying.”
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Today, during the launch event of the new global initiative ‘Travalyst’, The Duke of Sussex shared his remarks on the exciting new initiative from Amsterdam. #Travalyst, an initiative led by The Duke and founded by Booking.com, Ctrip, Skyscanner, TripAdvisor and Visa, sees a pressing need for increased collaboration to make sustainability a priority across our entire travel experience - and we believe that collective, collaborative action will be critical to achieve this. The travel and tourism sector is constantly growing and contributes a significant impact to the world we live in today. The Duke sees it as one of the worlds biggest problems but believes this partnership can make it one its greatest solutions: • - 1.8 Billion trips will be made annually by 2030, and since 2000, the number of trips taken around the world has more than doubled - 71% of global travellers think travel companies should offer more sustainable options - $8.8 Trillion was generated to the global economy from travel and tourism last year - 57% of all international trips by 2030 will include emerging market destinations We plan to work closely with local communities and providers, leveraging technology to help scale sustainable supply to meet the growing mass-market demand from consumers - ultimately, making sustainable travel options of all kinds easier for consumers to identify, book and enjoy. Click our link in bio to read The Duke of Sussex full speech from today Photo ©️ SussexRoyal
The initiative has been in the works for the past two years, though it made headlines this week after the prince was criticized for his use of private jets. Some viewed his sponsorship as hypocritical since private jets leave an enormous carbon footprint. Harry indirectly acknowledged the criticism by saying, “We cannot dismiss the idea of doing something just because we cannot do everything. We can all do better, and while no one is perfect, we all have a responsibility for our own individual impact. The question is what we do to balance it out.”
The five companies involved will make further announcements regarding the specifics of the initiative within the next 18 months. However, the partnership will address the growing demand to make travel more sustainable, while enhancing local communities, the environment and wildlife.
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We are excited to announce the launch of ‘Travalyst’, a global initiative striving to change the impact of tourism, for good. Partnering alongside key travel industry giants @Bookingcom, #Ctrip, @Skyscanner, @TripAdvisor and @Visa_US, our aim is to spark a movement to transform the future of travel, putting communities at the heart of the solution. We believe in the power and importance of travel. We also have a shared responsibility to our planet and to each other. • “I want to start with a little bit of background as to specifically why I’m here today, because as you may know, 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. 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…and that’s how Travalyst was born” - The Duke of Sussex The name #Travalyst comes from The Duke and partners viewing our role in sustainable travel as catalysts to accelerate positive changes in travel. Travel + catalyst = 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 whilst traveling. The Duke of Sussex, having invited the founding partners to start the conversation, believes that the organisations - with operations in nearly every country, hundreds of millions of customers that use their products every day, and business relationships around the world - have sufficient influence and the critical mass necessary to catalyse real system change in the travel industry, for the benefit of destinations, communities and ecosystems. To discover more about the new initiative, visit www.Travalyst.org
TripAdvisor has recently supported the Five Freedoms developed by the Farm Animal Welfare Council and applied to tourism by ABTA – The Travel Association in the Global Welfare Guidance for Animals in Tourism, which seeks to improve the standard of care for animals worldwide. Meanwhile, Booking.com is working with local communities to promote homestays and promote sustainable travel startups through its Booking Booster program.
In addition, Skyscanner has implemented “eco ratings” on its listings that encourage greener travel choices and Visa will conduct research into the viability of sustainable travel through its database of 3.3bn customers worldwide. The companies are also expected to work with NGOs, travel organizations and corporate partners to urge participation in the initiative.
One issue that must still be tackled is flying since airplanes account for roughly 2.5% of global carbon dioxide production. Therefore, promoting sustainable tourism must go hand in hand with encouraging fewer flights since, for the time being, new technologies like biofuels or electric planes still require years of development and safety testing. One option for now is to promote carbon offsetting, which means reducing your carbon footprint elsewhere if you fly often. In the end, sustainable tourism isn’t just the responsibility of travel providers but of all of us.