Fresh from a move to Canada, Prince Harry (or just Harry, as he asked a crowd to address him this week) has launched a new global initiative on sustainable and eco-friendly travel. Called, Travalyst the project seeks to showcase sustainable accommodation, aviation and experience providers in order to help travellers make choices that better protect wildlife, communities and the environment.
Founded by The Duke of Sussex together with Booking.com, Skyscanner, Tripadvisor, Trip.com and Visa, Travalyst aims to “be the driving force that paves a new way to travel, helping everyone explore our world in a way that protects both people and places, and secures a positive future for generations to come”.
Speaking at an eco-tourism summit in Edinburgh this week, Harry said that the company is seeking ways to give people access to better information and ensure the future development of tourism positively supports the destinations that the industry relies on.
The project will have an eventual scoring system that people booking holidays and trips across the all platforms will be able to recognise and use, with data showing travellers how sustainable their choices are. By doing this, Travalyst will be able to highlight travel providers with stronger sustainability practices already in place and offer people an easy way to understand their options.
Travalyst also hopes that by drawing attention to such choices it will help encourage businesses and providers to turn towards more sustainable practices. In each field, partners of Travalyst will find ways to measure their footprint, for example, when it comes to accommodation, Booking.com will analyse things like waste and water management, energy conservation and sourcing, as well as practices that affect local communities, making sure they can be applied to all types of accommodations and not just traditional hotels.
"We know from our research that 82% of our accommodation partners are interested in collaborating with us on the topic of sustainability and that 87% of global travellers think that's it's important to consider sustainable properties when travelling," said Gillian Tans, chairwoman of Booking.com. "Despite this tremendous interest on both sides, the majority of consumers still don't know where to start. Even though 70% say that they'd be more likely to book a stay that was eco-friendly, we also see that 72% of travellers aren't even aware of the existence of eco-labels. This represents a huge opportunity for us as part of Travalyst to help a wider range of accommodation providers showcase their sustainability efforts and in turn make it easier for travellers to find and ultimately book their properties.”
Similar systems will be put in place for the aviation industry as well as tour operators and experience providers.
More information on Travalyst is available at the official website.