Prince Harry says travel industry must do more for local communities

FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan (not pictured) attends the Royal Salute Polo Challenge to benefit Sentebale, a charity founded by Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso of Lesotho to support children in Lesotho and Botswana, in Wellington, Florida, U.S., April 12, 2024. REUTERS/Marco Bello

Britain’s Prince Harry said it was crucial the travel industry did better by the local communities in vacation destinations or there would be no tourism business at all in the future.

Speaking at the annual general meeting of Travalyst, an initiative he launched in 2019 with the aim of making the travel industry more sustainable, King Charles’ son said it was crucial to do more for those on whom the industry depended.

“Travel and tourism relies on destinations, held together by communities, without which we have nowhere to travel to,” said Harry, who appeared by videolink from his home in California.

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

The Travalyst scheme, an independent non-profit body backed by major tourism industry companies including Google, Booking.com, TripAdvisor, and Expedia, aims to help travellers to cut their carbon emissions, prevent over-tourism and develop local economies.

Like his father, who has spoken out for more than 50 years on issues such as sustainability and climate change, Harry has also been a vocal champion of environmental causes.

However, he and his wife Meghan have faced accusations of hypocrisy for taking private jets to attend engagements. The prince has previously said he only did so occasionally or in certain circumstances where he needed to keep his family safe, and that he always offsets his carbon dioxide emissions.

Harry founded Travalyst before he and his wife – the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – stepped down from their official royal roles in 2020, and since then they have embarked on a number of projects.

This week Meghan launched her new lifestyle brand American Riviera Orchard, sending jars of strawberry jam to a small number of selected recipients.

Earlier this month, the couple announced they would produce two more Netflix shows that will focus on cooking and a U.S. polo championship.

—Reuters

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