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The Duke of Sussex launches new global sustainable travel initiative: ‘Travalyst’

September 6, 2019 Responsible Tourism No Comments Email Email

The Duke of Sussex has announced a new global partnership aimed at improving conservation, environmental protection and expanding local community economic development by encouraging sustainable tourism practices across the travel industry.

‘Travalyst’ has been created to mobilise the travel industry as a catalyst for good, aiming to transform the future of travel for everyone.

Led by His Royal Highness and co-founded alongside leading service providers in the travel industry, Booking.com, Ctrip, Skyscanner, TripAdvisor and Visa, this first-of-its-kind initiative is dedicated to exploring and promoting solutions that will make travel more sustainable. This initiative brings together global businesses – those at the centre of connecting customers and operators in the travel market – to utilise their unique position to educate, raise awareness and promote positive change.

This bold new partnership is paving a new way to travel; driving change to help everyone explore the world in a more sustainable manner, protecting people, places, and wildlife, and securing a positive future for destinations and local communities for many generations to come.

Working with companies, consumers and communities, the partnership will initially explore and promote solutions that help drive sustainable practices and consumer choices in areas including; supporting local people, protecting wildlife, tackling climate change and environmental damage, and alleviating over-tourism.

Further details of new initiatives launched by the Travalyst partnership will be announced in due course.

The potential

As more people travel the impact on local communities and the environment increases, however the number of opportunities to do good with each trip taken increases too.

  • Last year, the number of international trips taken globally each year reached 1.4bn, two years faster than original projections. (UNWTO)
  • Since 2000, the number of trips taken annually by people around the world has more than doubled. (World Bank)
  •  Travel and tourism generated $8.8 trillion to the global economy in 2018. (WTTC)
  • The continued rise in the number of people travelling indicates we will reach 1.8bn international trips by 2030, doubling the number of trips made annually in fewer than 20 years. (UNWTO)
  • 1 in 10 of all jobs globally are travel related (WTTC)
  •  In 10 years, the number of tourists visiting countries in emerging markets will reach 1bn annually, making up 57% of all international trips globally. (UNWTO)

Travalyst is intended to capitalise on the strength and breadth of the global travel market, foster increased collaboration across the industry, and stimulate and support new solutions and initiatives in sustainable travel. The founding partners want to spark a movement of like-minded companies, organisations, NGOs, and changemakers to transform the future of travel into a more sustainable one.

His Royal Highness, The Duke of Sussex 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.”

Gillian Tans, Chairwoman, Booking.com, said: “The commitment from these different brands to work together and help build a global network of like-minded social entrepreneurs, NGOs and policymakers is truly inspiring. Collaboration is the only path forward if we want to create a real paradigm shift in travel. We want to protect the destinations we all love and guarantee that they are happy and healthy for generations to come, but we can’t do it on our own. Even though we don’t have all the answers yet, we are determined to find them together.”

Jane Sun, CEO, Ctrip, said: “Travel is a powerful means of bringing us closer – to share the beauty of our countries and our myriad cultures, to find our common humanity. But with travel comes the duty to protect our fragile planet. That’s why we are working with the brightest minds to ensure that generations to come can follow in our footsteps sustainably and the world and its people can grow together.”

Bryan Dove, CEO, Skyscanner, said: “Global travel is a modern-day gift, bringing together cultures and communities across our planet.  As such, we have an obligation to preserve our world for future generations to explore and enjoy – but to do this we need to act now as change won’t happen overnight. As the biggest players in the travel industry we have a responsibility to use our collective scale to lead this change.”

Stephen Kaufer, President & CEO, TripAdvisor, said: “We all have a responsibility to try and protect our precious planet and communities for generations to come. I truly believe more can be achieved by joining together than going alone, which is why we’re excited to be part of Travalyst as we collectively seek out ways to make a positive impact on the future of travel.”

Al Kelly, Chairman and CEO, Visa, said: “Enabling global travel and commerce through digital payments is one of many ways Visa connects and empowers individuals, businesses and economies every day.  We are dedicated to doing so in a way that supports our commitment to sustainability. We are proud to be part of this initiative to support long-term economic growth through tourism.”

Consumer trends show an increasing demand for a positive impact

There is a growing demand from consumers to have easy and transparent access to a wider range of options to travel more sustainably. Travalyst wants to help companies meet that demand as well as use this platform to engage consumers about the importance of sustainable practices. This partnership will also prioritise working with local communities, engaging social entrepreneurs and promoting best practice.

More than half of all travellers say they are more determined to make more sustainable travel choices this year than they were last year – but many do not know how. Barriers include a lack of knowledge, perceived extra costs and not enough availability or appealing options when trying to put this into practice. That being said, impact on the local community and environment is a primary consideration for many travellers globally.

  • 71% of global travellers told Booking.com that they think travel companies should offer more sustainable travel choices, and 68% of people said it was important the money they spent on travel went back into local communities.
  • Over the last 12 months, 10 million travellers using Skyscanner selected the lowest CO2 emission flight option.
  • 75% of Ctrip’s partners are committed to Ctrip’s 4R initiatives: to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle resources and Regenerate lives in the travel ecosystem.
  • The global sustainable tourism market is predicted to grow by $340bn, 10%, within the next four years. (TechNavio)

Growing the Travalyst community

The Travalyst initiative is looking to establish more collaborative partnerships that bring together the collective expertise and perspectives of local communities, policymakers, governments, NGOs, other leading businesses and social entrepreneurs; leveraging technology and strategic initiatives to help scale the global supply of sustainable travel options to meet the growing mass-market demand from consumers.

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