Now Harry partners with Google: Prince’s eco-travel firm Travalyst joins forces with global tech giant – despite Duke railing against social media firms for spreading ‘misinformation’ about climate change
Prince Harry today welcomed 谷歌 into his Travalyst sustainable travel initiative in a move that will draw eyebrows given his vocal criticism of big tech.
的 苏塞克斯公爵 has previously slammed the big US technology firms as ‘incredibly powerful and consolidated gatekeepers’ and criticised disinformation being spread on social media about issues like climate change.
Travalyst said partnering with Google, which also owns YouTube, was a ‘significant step forward’ and praised the firm for its commitment to ‘helping consumers make more sustainable travel choices’.
The Duke of Sussex was said to have given a passionate speech about saving the planet while being watched by Naomi Campbell and Leonardo DiCaprio, among other celebrities and power brokers.
Kate Brandt, Chief Sustainability Officer at Google, said after today’s announcement: “Addressing the challenge of climate change requires us to find solutions at scale, and this is especially true when it comes to travel and tourism.
‘By working with Travalyst and our industry partners, we aim to build tools and technology that enable travelers and businesses around the world to prioritize sustainability.’
Travalyst’s stated mission is to make the tourism industry more sustainable make it easier for travellers to make eco-friendly choices.
It has brought together some of the biggest operators in the travel industry – including Visa, Booking.com and Skyscanner – to help tourists pick low carbon options more easily and chose destinations that will have more benefit to local communities.
The name is a mixture of the words ‘travel’ and ‘catalyst’, with Harry explaining when he launched it in September 2019 that it came from ‘viewing our role in sustainable travel as catalysts to accelerate positive changes in travel’.
Last year it emerged Travalyst altered the wording of it’s website to reflect the step back that Prince Harry took from royal life, replacing that Travalyst is ‘led by HRH The Duke of Sussex’ on its homepage with simply ‘led by The Duke of Sussex’.
Its work has taken a hit after the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic halted the majority of international leisure travel, causing what Harry dubbed a crisis of ‘no tourists and therefore no income’.
At a global summit in July, 公爵说: ‘None of us here could have predicted the global shock and impact that Covid-19 is having on the world, especially on travel and the local communities who depend on tourism.
‘Many of you joining us today rely on visitors for your livelihoods. Businesses are hurting significantly, and I’ve heard from some of you who are currently struggling to put food on your family’s tables and make ends meet because there are no tourists and therefore no income. We need to build back, but we need to build back better.’