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Prince Harry’s eco-tourism company quietly announces new board of directors - and he’s not on it

The Duke of Sussex founded the company in 2019

Amber Raiken
New York
Wednesday 02 August 2023 04:11 BST
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Related: Prince Harry’s lawsuit against newspaper publisher to go to trial

Prince Harry’s eco-tourism company, Travalyst, has recently announced its new board members, which didn’t include a mention about the Duke of Sussex himself.

In a press release shared on 24 May, Sally Davey, Chief Executive of Travalyst, announced that the company had moved “into its next phase of growth”. She noted that when the brand launched three years ago, it “was set up as a pilot,” in order to test “hypothesis that an independent and neutral not-for-profit could help the travel industry accelerate its progress towards net positive impact”.

She then reflected on Travalyst’ growth thus far, explaining that its “five Founding Partners has now almost doubled in size to nine partners”. After describing how “the group has worked incredibly hard together,” the chief executive went on to celebrate the company’s new board members, which didn’t include the CEO himself: Prince Harry.

“Today we formally mark the end of Travalyst’s pilot phase with the appointment of a new Board to govern and guide us on our journey ahead to delivering major positive and system-changing impact,” Davey said. “The Board is composed of individuals with world-class expertise in impact, systems change, not-for-profit governance, advocacy, and campaigning for a just and sustainable world.”

Davey’s statement continued: “This is an incredibly exciting moment for Travalyst and, I believe, for the industry as we stride ahead into our next phase of growth and expansion to ensure our work is freely available to all, used by all and catalyses the positive transformation of the sector.”

Although he wasn’t mentioned in the press release about the board members, Harry was mentioned at the bottom of two different press releases: One from 8 June 2023 and another from 25 July 2023.

After noting that Harry founded the company in 2019, Travalyst also gave a description about its work, explaining that it “has convened a coalition of nine of the world’s leading travel and technology companies: Amadeus, Booking.com, Expedia Group, Google, Skyscanner, Travelport, Trip.com Group, Tripadvisor and Visa”.

According to a report shared by Newsweek, Harry still “remains committed to the project” and he’s in contact with the board and CEO of Travalyst. On Travalyst’s website, he’s also still listed as the “founder and patron” of the company.

The news about Travalyst newest board members in May came days after Harry and wife Meghan Markle were in “near catastrophic car chase” in New York, involving “highly aggressive” paparazzi. The couple said they and Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, were followed for two hours as they were leaving from a charity awards ceremony and headed to a private residence.

“This relentless pursuit, lasting over two hours, resulted in multiple near collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two [police] officers,” a spokesperson for the royal couple said at the time.

Harry first announced the launch of  Travalyst, an initiative he set up in partnership with some of the biggest names in the travel industry one year before he and wife Meghan Markle stepped down from their senior roles in the royal family.

“We believe in the power and importance of travel and that we also have a shared responsibility to our planet and to each other,” the company said in a September 2019 mission statement. “That’s why we’re coming together as a catalyst for change. We want to be the driving force that paves a new way to travel, helping everyone explore our world in a way that protects both people and places, and secures a positive future for destinations and local communities for generations to come.”

Harry went on to become one of the faces of the brand. More specifically, the father of two made headlines last year when he wore a “girl dad” t-shirt in a skit for his ecotourism not-for-profit organisation.

In the clip shared in May 2022, Harry is chased while out jogging by a “rating agent,” played by New Zealand comic Rhys Darby. The actor goes on to reprimand the royal for dropping litter, before handing him a three out of five star environmental footprint rating for his trip to the country in 2018 with Meghan, as part of their royal tour.

Speaking to The Independent, Sally Davey, CEO of Travalyst, said: “Prince Harry is the founder of Travalyst and remains an invaluable part of this organisation. His role has not changed in any way, and he is regularly involved in strategic discussions and decisions alongside our partners and Board.”

The Independent has contacted representatives for Prince Harry for comment.

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