While Greta Thunberg was getting ready to sail across the Atlantic in a high-speed racing yacht to reach the UN climate summit in New York City, Prince Harry and his family were using Elton John’s private jet to vacation in Nice and Ibiza this summer.
“No one is perfect,” Prince Harry explained during his speech for the launch of Travalyst, a global initiative aimed at making travel more sustainable and reducing its environmental impact.
“I spend 99% of my life traveling the world by commercial,” he said in his defense. “Occasionally there needs to be an opportunity based on a unique circumstance to ensure that my family are safe — it’s generally as simple as that.”
Travalyst, a project that has been three years in the making, is partnering with companies like Booking.com, Skyscanner, TripAdvisor, and Visa to encourage sustainable practices in the travel industry, community economic development, and improve conservation.
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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
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According to Booking.com’s 2019 Sustainable Travel Report, 71 percent of world travelers think travel companies should offer more sustainable travel choices, and Travalyst is here to make it happen. The initiative hopes to explore new avenues for protecting wildlife, addressing climate change and environmental damage, and reducing the impact of overtourism.
“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,” said the Duke of Sussex. “Bringing companies, consumers and communities together is our best chance to protect destinations and ecosystems for future generations.”