Prince Harry calls on travel industry to ‘do better’ for communities in tourist destinations

Duke of Sussex was speaking at the AGM of his non-profit organisation Travalyst

Tony Jones
Thursday 18 April 2024 12:11 BST
The Duke of Sussex founded the non-profit organisation Travalyst in 2019 (Victoria Jones/PA)
The Duke of Sussex founded the non-profit organisation Travalyst in 2019 (Victoria Jones/PA) (PA Wire)

The Duke of Sussex has urged the travel industry to “do better” by communities acting as custodians of tourist destinations.

Prince Harry’s comments came in a online address to the annual general meeting of his Travalyst organisation, which aims to encourage the tourism sector to become more sustainable and make eco-choices simpler for travellers.

During an online video call with a number of delegates, the duke said: “Travel and tourism relies on destinations, held together by communities, without which we have nowhere to travel to.

Communities are the beating heart of travel and we must do better by the people who are the custodians of the places we visit.

“We’ve heard from some fantastic organisations like Invisible Cities, who train people affected by homelessness to be tour guides in their own city, and Global Himalayan Expedition, whose programmes have helped electrify over 200 Himalayan villages, impacting over 60,000 lives for the better.

“More and more people are wanting to make informed travel choices so that the benefit of travel is felt by all. Travalyst and its partners bring a combined market value of nearly three trillion dollars and are working hard to provide that resource at a systems level.”

Non-profit organisation Travalyst was founded by the duke in 2019 and has formed a coalition of leading brands including, Skyscanner, Tripadvisor,, Visa, Google and Expedia Group.

The two-day meeting, which began on Tuesday, was held in southern France and brought together some of the biggest brands in travel and technology, as well as industry experts, to discuss sustainable and regenerative tourism.

Travalyst’s latest development came in February when it launched an initiative to review whether tourism certification bodies, that focus on sustainability, meet a set of criteria in order to be displayed on Travalyst’s partner platforms.

Sally Davey, Travalyst’s chief executive officer, said: “I think having Prince Harry involved in these sorts of discussions is vital. It demonstrates how critical it is to have community voices at the heart of everything that we’re doing.

“We were there to listen, as was Prince Harry, to hear those voices to learn and to understand how we can do better by those people and those places.”

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