Prince Harry has urged travel and tourism businesses to “reshape this industry in a way that benefits everyone and everything” in the wake of Covid-19.
Opening a virtual global summit for his non-profit Travalyst on Thursday (30 July), the Duke of Sussex said he hoped the event would “help us all affect the change that we are working towards” which due to the pandemic “is needed now more than ever”.
Prince Harry launched Travalyst in September as a “catalyst” to promote and develop sustainable travel and take it, as he described today, “out of its niche and into the mainstream”.
The initiative was founded alongside partners travel industry including Booking.com, Skyscanner, Trip.com Group and Tripadvisor.
“Since then none of us could have predicted the global shock and impact that Covid-19 is having on the world – especially on travel and the local communities that depend on tourism,” he said.
“Many of you joining us today rely on visitors for your livelihoods – businesses are hurting significantly. I’ve heard from some of you that are struggling to put food on your families tables and to make ends meet – because there are no tourists and therefore no income.
“We need to build back, but we need to build back better.”
The prince stressed Travalyst was keen to help in the travel sector’s recovery “now and in the long term as well”.
"This is what today is all about. We want to make sure the industry that recovers supports everyone fairly, protects destinations, better supports local communities and is truly resilient," he said.
“Before the pandemic we witnessed more and more young people interested in authentic travel experiences and the ability to partake in trips that are greener, that allow them to support local communities, uphold heritage and protect destinations and cultures.
“This is the future of travel and the future that Travalyst is here to support and catalyse. There is a long road to recovery yet – we all know this – but there is undoubtedly an opportunity for us to work together and built back better.”