Prince Harry launches sustainable travel initiative after private jet criticism
Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, has launched a global sustainable travel initiative, hot on the heels of criticism over his use of private jets when taking vacations.
The project, known as Travalyst, will work to encourage sustainable practices in the travel industry and aims to improve conservation, environmental protection and community economic development, according to a statement from Buckingham Palace.
“What is clear across this vast landscape is that our world faces environmental challenges of unprecedented scope and scale,” said Harry in a speech announcing the initiative in Amsterdam Tuesday.
“These human-caused challenges often need a giant system shift to make a significant enough impact. And that is what this partnership is here to try and do.”
In August, Harry and Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, were accused of hypocrisy after using private jets to fly to the south of France and Ibiza in two trips just days apart, despite speaking out regularly on environmental issues.
Harry traveled to the Dutch capital on board a commercial flight to launch Travalyst, which has been two years in the making.
After his speech Harry spoke out on his use of private jets at a question-and-answer session.
“I spend 99% of my life traveling the world by commercial, 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,” said Harry, referencing the choice to fly private, according to Press Association.
“We are all responsible for our own individual impact,” he said, adding that “we can all do better” when it comes to the environment.
Travalyst will work on solutions to protect wildlife, tackle climate change and environmental damage, and reduce the impact of over-tourism, working work with big names in the travel industry, including Booking.com, Ctrip, Skyscanner, TripAdvisor and Visa.
Travelers are increasingly concerned with making sustainable travel choices, data from Booking.com indicates.
Some 71% of global travelers told the website they want the choice of more sustainable travel options, and 68% of people think it’s important the money they spend on trips reaches local communities, according to the statement.
Travalyst aims to make people more aware of sustainable travel, and help companies address public demand.
“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 Harry in a statement.
“Bringing companies, consumers and communities together is our best chance to protect destinations and ecosystems for future generations.”