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27 Feb 2020

Duke of Sussex launches sustainable tourism initiative at Travel Tourism Summit in Edinburgh

Prince Harry, HRH Duke of Sussex has returned to the UK for his first public appearance, one of his final as a 'senior royal', since he and his wife, Meghan Markle, renounced their HRH titles earlier this year.

The Duke of Sussex arrived in Edinburgh, Scotland, on 25 February, ahead of the Travel Tourism Summit, where he introduced his new sustainable tourism initiative, Travalyst.

A programme that aims to help tourists make eco-conscious decisions and support local communities while travelling, Travalyst was formed in partnership with, Skyscanner, Visa and TripAdvisor.

Its initial projects include an easy-to-use guide that will score sustainability across the travel and tourism sectors, with a particular focus on accommodation and aviation practices.

"I want to help create a platform where all of us concerned about these issues can work together, where competition can unite and incentivise a positive systemic change," said Harry in a speech, launching the project.

"We believe travel is a good thing. It is the heart of human experience, of cultural connections, and of new friendships. It is a global powerhouse that employs hundreds of millions of people, keeping culture alive, protecting some of the world's most precious spaces, and that introduces us to people, places and wildlife that we've only ever seen on a screen. It's these experiences that we remember and cherish."

Addressing the rapid growth in worldwide travellers, the Duke said: "If we do not act, and in large part get ahead of this inevitable surge, this massive increase will mean we see more of the world's beautiful destinations closed or destroyed, more communities becoming overwhelmed, more beaches shut because of pollution and animals and wildlife driven from their natural habitat, which has a huge impact.

"We have to work together, with partners, experts, operators, communities, and others to scale up the good practices already being used around the world."

The Travel Tourism Summit took place at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre on 26 February and focused on the importance of sustainability in travel. It was hosted by columnist and broadcaster Ayesha Hazarika and was attended by 100 delegates from across the Scottish tourism and travel sectors.

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