A new global partnership aimed at boosting local community and economic development through sustainable tourism and environmental protection has been launched by the Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry.
Backed by major global corporate heavyweights including TripAdvisor, Visa, Ctrip, Skyscanner and Booking.com, the Travalyst initiative aims to explore sustainable tourism projects which can work at a local level – aiming to combat over-tourism and provide meaningful economic support to regional and rural communities around the world.
International travel reached numbers of 1.4 billion consumers in 2018 – two years earlier than expected and a figure expected to reach 1.8 billion by 2030. The rate of growth has seen the figure double since 2000 – according to the United Nations World Travel Organisation. The sector generated $8.8 trillion for global economies in 2018.
Barriers to success include more than half of all world travellers saying they would like to make their travel more sustainable and to affect local communities more positively, but don’t know how. Reasons cited include a lack of knowledge, perceived extra costs and lack of available among sustainable options.
“As tourism inevitably grows, it is critically important to accelerate the adoption of sustainable practices worldwide; and to balance this growth with the needs of the environment and the local population. Bringing companies, consumers and communities together is our best chance to protect destinations and ecosystems for future generations,” said His Royal Highness, The Duke of Sussex.
“We all have a responsibility to try and protect our precious planet and communities for generations to come. I truly believe more can be achieved by joining together than going alone, which is why we’re excited to be part of Travalyst as we collectively seek out ways to make a positive impact on the future of travel,” added TripAdvisor President and CEO, Stephen Kaufer.
Core to the Travalyst purpose is to help educate emerging markets as to the power of sustainable travel, as forecasts show that in the next decade, more than half of all international travel globally will be to emerging destinations. The organisation aims to foster collaboration at a government, corporate and local level to give rise to new, long-term and sustainable solutions.