Time to “imagine” the travel industry, says Britain’s Prince Harry

FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Prince Harry speaks at the annual Endeavor Fund Awards at Mansion House in London, UK March 5, 2020. Paul Edwards / Pool via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Prince Harry has called on the travel industry to “restore and imagine” its future after the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on creating a more sustainable model that harms the environment and local communities less. .

Travel companies and airlines have been hit hard by the pandemic, which has stopped much of the global tourism industry, while those who rely on visitors have also suffered.

Harry, Queen Elizabeth’s granddaughter, said the trip, saying that “acute difficulties” of communities in tourist destinations had shown the importance of travel, but had also stressed the need to reduce its harmful effects.

“We know there is no alternative to not traveling again,” the 36-year-old Prince said in a preface to the annual report for Travalyst, an initiative he launched in 2019 with the goal of making the travel industry more sustainable.

“Right in front of us, there is an opportunity to do things differently, to do things better. Travel and tourism are no exception. When the industry returns from the crisis, there is an urgent need to recover and imagine. ”

Harry, like his father, heir to the throne Prince Charles, a singer for environmental issues, said that before the pandemic it had been clear that the industry had not done enough to address issues such as climate change and pollution.

The prince himself has previously been shot to advocate more environmentally conscious travel when using private jets. But he says he only rarely uses commercial aircraft and has taken steps to compensate for the carbon dioxide emissions caused by his travels.

Travalyst, an independent non-profit organization supported by some major tourism companies including Booking.com, TripAdvisor and Visa, said the industry needed general transparency in its sustainability efforts and to promote the success of local communities, destinations and operators. .

Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by William James

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