Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 20 September 2019

Prince Harry announces eco-friendly travel scheme during Amsterdam visit

The British royal and his wife, Meghan Markle, were criticised this summer for the high number of private jet trips they took to various European destinations

Prince Harry arrives at the A'DAM Tower in Amsterdam to launch the Travalyst partnership between Booking.com, Skyscanner, CTrip, TripAdvisor and Visa. AFP 
Prince Harry arrives at the A'DAM Tower in Amsterdam to launch the Travalyst partnership between Booking.com, Skyscanner, CTrip, TripAdvisor and Visa. AFP 

Prince Harry tackled criticism of his travel habits in a speech about eco-travel today.

The British royal told a crowd in Amsterdam that "we can all do better" as he launched a collaboration between Booking.com, Skyscanner, TripAdvisor and Visa on Tuesday, September 3. The Duke of Sussex flew to the Dutch capital on a commercial flight.

"We could all do better. While no one is perfect, we all have a responsibility for our own individual impact," the royal, 34, said. "The question is what we do to balance it out."

Prince Harry was in the Netherlands to announce Travalyst, a travel initiative he has "pioneered and driven", which will provide consumers with environmentally friendly travel options.

The scheme will work "by supporting local communities, protecting wildlife, tackling climate change and alleviating over-tourism", according to Sky News.

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - SEPTEMBER 03: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex announces a partnership between Booking.com, SkyScanner, CTrip, TripAdvisor and Visa called 'Travalyst' at A'dam Tower on September 03, 2019 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The initiative is to help transform the travel industry to better protect tourist destinations. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Prince Harry launched Travalyst, which aims to help transform the travel industry to better protect tourist destinations. Getty

This summer, Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, were criticised for the high number of private jet trips they took to various European destinations, despite encouraging people to live more sustainably.

We all have a responsibility for our own individual impact

Prince Harry

"I want to start with a little bit of background as to specifically why I’m here today, because as you may know, I am not a tourism or business expert, but through my travels I have observed the unique relationship between community and environment, and have noticed something alarming," he said.

"There wasn’t the symbiosis or connection there needed to be and I wanted to understand why. I am one of those people fortunate enough to have a platform and I want to use it to tackle hard problems, in the hope of finding solutions."

The move has not come without criticism. British television host Piers Morgan tweeted his disapproval of the royal's connection to the initiative.

"Prince Harry preaching about the environment again. He can do this, or be a constant private-jet-setting celebrity. Not both," the Good Morning Britain presenter said.

In a statement before the event, Prince Harry said travel "has the unparalleled power to open people's minds to different cultures, new experiences and to have a profound appreciation for what our world has to offer.

"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."

Updated: September 3, 2019 02:53 PM

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