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Travalyst, the not-for-profit organisation founded by Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, kicked off its annual convening on 16 April in the South of France. The two-day event brings together some of the biggest brands in travel and technology, as well as world-renowned experts to discuss sustainable and regenerative tourism. A key part of this year’s event was a roundtable discussion focused on communities, in which Travalyst’s founder took part, speaking with some of the people and places impacted by travel and tourism.

Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, said: “Travel and tourism relies on destinations, held together by communities, without which we have nowhere to travel to. Communities are the beating heart of travel, and we must do better by the people who are the custodians of the places we visit. We’ve heard from some fantastic organisations like Invisible Cities who train people affected by homelessness to be tour guides in their own city, and Global Himalayan Expedition, whose programmes have helped electrify over 200 Himalayan villages impacting over 60,000 lives for the better. More and more people are wanting to make informed travel choices so that the benefit of travel is felt by all. Travalyst and its partners bring a combined  market value of nearly $3 trillion, and are working hard to provide that resource at a systems level.”

Travalyst, founded in 2019, is working with its partners to bring clear, consistent and credible sustainability information to the mainstream to help people make more informed travel choices. To date, Travalyst’s work has been focused on accommodation and aviation Specifically:

  • The coalition is working to bring sustainability information about accommodation providers to scale for the first time. This information goes beyond emissions and aims to encompass the full spectrum of sustainability.
  • Vetting sustainability certifications for accommodation providers. Travalyst is screening them against criteria, approved by its Independent Advisory Group, and aims to have a master list of certifications soon.
  • Travalyst has scaled emissions estimates through its coalition so people booking flights have access to consistent information, enabling them to make lower emitting travel choices.

Travalyst used its annual convening to also announce changes to its Independent Advisory Group (IAG) following the departure of Chair, Diana Walker who has taken on a pivotal role as Senior Advisor Climate in the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate within the Biden Administration. Travalyst’s IAG, which oversees the work delivered by the coalition to ensure it is credible and industry-leading, will now be chaired by Dr Anna Spenceley, who has served on the IAG since Travalyst’s inception, and is renowned for her expertise in sustainable tourism. Professor Sara Dolnicar also joins the group, having won multiple awards for her groundbreaking research in the tourism industry, and Sarah Holloway will step into the newly created role of IAG Vice Chair.

Travalyst has assembled a coalition of some of the biggest brands in travel and technology, including Amadeus, Booking.com, Expedia Group, Google, Mastercard, Sabre, Skyscanner, Travelport, Trip.com Group, Tripadvisor and Visa. Together, our aim is to enhance travel at a systems level to benefit us all.

 

 





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