Prince Harry Hits Back Over Private Jet Scandal With New Travel Initiative
Prince Harry, who has come under fire for using private jets, has announced a new initiative intended to make the travel industry more sustainable.
The "Travalyst" scheme is backed by major tourism industry companies including Booking.com, TripAdvisor, Ctrip and Visa.
It plans initiatives that will help travellers to cut their carbon emissions, prevent over-tourism and develop local economies.
"I've learned that we cannot dismiss the idea of trying to do something, just because we can't do everything. We can all do better," Harry said.
"And while no one is perfect, we are all responsible for our own individual impact. The question is what we do to balance it out."
Harry has faced media accusations of hypocrisy for taking private planes to attend recent engagements while at the same time voicing concerns about the environment.
The prince said he spent 99 percent of his life travelling the world by commercial aircraft and would only take a private jet when circumstances called for it, and he would offset the carbon footprint.
Harry and the founding members of the organisation did not give specific examples of programs they would introduce or actions they would undertake.
Travalyst said there were 1.4 billion international trips in 2018 and travel and tourism generated $US8.8 trillion annually for the global economy. It said consumers were increasingly keen to ensure their travel was more sustainable and had less impact on the environment.
A survey of travellers for Booking.com found 71 percent thought travel companies should offer more sustainable travel choices and 68 percent said it was important the money they spent went back into local communities.
"We will use our influence to explore and promote initiatives worldwide that have the ability to preserve destinations, ensure that local communities thrive, and protect wildlife and environments through responsible practices," the founding members of Travalyst said in a statement.