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Prince Harry reveals ‘acute hardship’ of lockdown travel ban

Prince Harry says lockdown travel bans have caused ‘acute hardship’ but urges the industry to ‘reset and reimagine with new optimism’ in foreword to annual report for his sustainable tourism project Travalyst

  • Prince Harry, 36, has urged the travel industry to ‘reset and reimagine’ its future
  • Said ‘hardship’ of communities in tourist destinations show importance of travel 
  • Duke of Sussex added it also highlighted need to reduce its detrimental impact
  • Was speaking in a foreword to the annual report of Travalyst, an initiative he launched in 2019 with the objective of making travel industry more sustainable

Prince Harry has urged the travel industry to ‘reset and reimagine’ its future after the crisis caused by COVID-19 pandemic, with a focus on creating a more sustainable model which does less damage to the environment and local communities. 

The Duke of Sussex, 36, told how the ‘acute hardship’ of communities in tourist destinations had shown the importance of travel, but had also highlighted the need to reduce its detrimental impact.

Speaking in a foreword to the annual report of Travalyst, an initiative he launched in 2019 with the objective of making the travel industry more sustainable, Prince Harry penned: ‘We know that to not travel again is not an option.’ 

‘Right before us, there is an opportunity to do things differently, to do things better. Travel and tourism are no exception. As the industry re-emerges from crisis, there is an urgent need to reset and reimagine.’

Prince Harry has urged the travel industry to ‘reset and reimagine’ its future after the crisis caused by COVID-19 pandemic. Pictured, with Meghan Markle hosting a special Time100 talk on October 20, 2020

Travalyst is an initiative Prince Harry launched in 2019 with the objective of making the travel industry more sustainable. Pictured, September 2019 in Amsterdam

Travalyst is an initiative Prince Harry launched in 2019 with the objective of making the travel industry more sustainable. Pictured, September 2019 in Amsterdam

Harry, like his father Prince Charles, is a vocal champion of environmental causes, said it had been clear before the pandemic the industry had not done enough to tackle issues such as climate change and pollution.

He added: ‘This global health crisis continues to hold many in its grip, forcing communities and nations into one of the most difficult times in modern history.

Those working in and relying on travel and tourism have experienced acute hardship. If anyone needed reminding, this has shown us just how vital the industry is to families and communities around the world.’

The Duke of Sussex has previously come under fire himself for advocating more environmentally-aware travel while using private jets. 

But he says he only rarely does not use commercial aircraft, and took action to offset the carbon dioxide emissions caused by his trips.

Travalyst, an independent non-profit body which is backed by some major tourism industry companies including Booking.com, TripAdvisor, and Visa, said the industry needed universal transparency on its sustainability efforts, and to champion the success of local communities, destinations and operators. 

Prince Harry spoke in Amsterdam in September during the launch of the travel industry partnership in September 2019

Prince Harry spoke in Amsterdam in September during the launch of the travel industry partnership in September 2019

The Duke of Sussex (left) spoke to a panel were Booking.com chairwoman Gillian Tans, SkyScanner chief Bryan Dove, Ctrip boss Jane Sun, TripAdvisor hotels president Kanika Soni and Suzan Kereere, Visa's chief of merchant sales and acquiring

The Duke of Sussex (left) spoke to a panel were Booking.com chairwoman Gillian Tans, SkyScanner chief Bryan Dove, Ctrip boss Jane Sun, TripAdvisor hotels president Kanika Soni and Suzan Kereere, Visa’s chief of merchant sales and acquiring

In August 2019, Harry and his wife Meghan were criticised after taking four private jet journeys in 11 days to and from Nice and Ibiza, rather than opting for commercial flights – despite speaking out on environmental issues. 

Speaking from the launch of his sustainable travel initiative in September 2019, the royal insisted he flew by private jet four times in 11 days to keep his family safe.

The Duke flew to Amsterdam by a commercial flight to launch the project and told an audience at A’dam Tower: ‘We could all do better.’

But claims that he flies by private jet occasionally to protect his family were met with disdain by many Twitter users.

One said: ‘Prince Harry: When I fly by private jet, it’s to keep my family safe. Well lend me your jet so I can keep MY family safe, what a dumb comment by Harry.’

Another added: ‘Prince Harry saying that he only flies private jet to ‘protect his family’ is RUBBISH. Prince William who will actually be KING one day doesn’t even do that! It’s just an excuse to travel in luxury! #Hypocrites.’ 

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