Communities are 'beating heart of travel' says Prince Harry at Travalyst meeting

Communities are 'beating heart of travel' says Prince Harry at Travalyst meeting

Meet up saw leading technology and travel brands discuss sustainable tourism

Not-for-profit organisation Travalyst, founded by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, to tackle sustainability within the travel industry, has kicked off its annual meeting in the South of France on April 16. 

The two-day event brought 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, 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 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 new 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.

Professor Sara Dolnicar also joins the group, having won multiple awards for her research in the tourism industry, and Sarah Holloway will step into the newly created role of IAG vice chair.