Prince Harry has returned to his official duties following his summer break with wife Meghan and son Archie. He travelled to Amsterdam, the Netherlands to announce an exciting new partnership between Booking.com, SkyScanner, CTrip, TripAdvisor and Visa.
The aim is to promote sustainable travel solutions by supporting local communities, protecting wildlife, tackling climate change and alleviating over-tourism.
At the event, in Amsterdam, Prince Harry also addressed the criticism over his use of private jets for summer vacations with his family.
“We can all do better and while no one is perfect, we all have a responsibility for our own individual impact,” he said.
“The question is what we do to balance it out.”
Harry arrived on Monday in Amsterdam, on a scheduled flight, and made a joke at the beginning of his speech, “Having spent last night here — I don’t know about you guys but it was definitely the best nights’ sleep I’ve had for the last 4 months!”
During a Q&A session, he was asked about taking private travel. Harry answered: “I came here by commercial. I spend 99% of my life travelling the world by commercial. Occasionally there needs to be an opportunity based on a unique circumstance to ensure my family are safe and it’s genuinely as simple as that.”
Prince Harry has spent three years quietly working on the initiative with the commercial giants.
Announced in a new post to Instagram, the project is named ‘Travalyst’, and as Harry says it “is a first-of-its-kind coalition, a united front of businesses dedicated to making travel an engine for sustainability.
“Our aim is to spark a movement to transform the future of travel, putting communities at the heart of the solution.”
Prince Harry himself shared a statement: “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 caption continued: “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.”