Prince Harry is launching a sustainable travel initiative called Travalyst

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Prince Harry’s latest project will have a global impact. On Tuesday, the Duke of Sussex announced that he is launching a new initiative called Travalyst, which will encourage the travel industry to rethink how people explore the globe. By working with companies like Booking.com, Ctrip, Skyscanner, TripAdvisor, and Visa, Prince Harry hopes to come up with solutions to environmental and cultural issues caused by overtourism. These include the endangerment of wildlife, harm to the ecosystem, and global warming.

“Our world faces environmental challenges of unprecedented scope and scale,” he said on September 3, according to the New York Times. “From deforestation and the loss of biodiversity, to ocean plastics and poaching, the problems can sometimes seem too big to fix. These human-caused challenges often need a giant system shift to make a significant enough impact.” A big part of Travalyst’s focus will be on educating travellers about what it means to be mindful about their getaways and what aspects of their own travels are harming the planet — for instance, long international flights, single-use plastic, or supporting airlines and companies that aren’t paying attention to sustainability.

Travalyst will also endeavour to work with restaurants and hotels to ensure that businesses are trending toward greener practices. Hotel companies like IHG and Marriott have already announced a ban on small plastic bottles of bath and skin products, and airlines like KLM (a Dutch company) have been running ads asking customers to think more critically about their travel plans and to consider skipping a plane ride in favour of travel by rail or other means.

Additionally, Prince Harry is hoping to emphasise the importance of giving back to the local communities that travellers visit to ensure that tourism is culturally and economically sustainable. “Sometimes when we appreciate the world’s beauty, we heighten its fragility,” he said. “It’s a paradox. But in our enthusiasm, we can put great strain on the natural wonders we travel to see as well as the communities that call these places home.” The Duke will next travel with his family to South Africa, where he and Duchess Meghan will visit Malawi, Botswana, and Angola.

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