Prince Harry will get ‘no respite’ says Ingrid Seward
Harry’s sustainable tourism platform, Travalyst, was launched a year and a half ago and reflected his eco-friendly goals. Like his father Prince Charles, brother Prince William and grandfather Prince Philip, he is determined to tackle the issue of climate change before it is too late. After choosing to leave the Royal Family last year, he took Travalyst with him and has supposedly been working on it quietly in the background from his new home in LA.
This week, the Duke of Sussex wrote the foreword to a new report headed up by Travalyst about COVID-19’s impact on the travel industry — and how it could alter the whole industry for the better.
He said: “At Travalyst, we do not believe a thriving tourism industry and protecting the world is a zero-sum game.
“With new optimism and increased tourist demand for natural experiences and sustainable practices, this year has the potential to bring sustainability to the forefront.”
This expression of optimism is a stark contrast to Harry’s previous words about his mental health which he expressed during his tour of southern Africa in 2019.
Prince Harry expresses ‘new optimism’ after claiming he ‘struggled to get out of bed’
Harry and Meghan spoke of their concern for the world during a tour of southern Africa in 2019
Harry told Peter Oki, an Anglican student attending a multi-faith reception, that he was concerned about the future, after being asked what the Sussexes wanted their “legacy” to be.
Mr Oki recalled: “Harry said that he often woke up and felt overwhelmed by too many problems in the world and that sometimes it’s hard to get out of bed in the mornings because of all the issues.
“But he wanted to use their platform to enable grass-roots change and to try and create a better society.”
This conversation took place just three weeks after the royal launched Travalyst — showing that, despite his new platform, Harry was still deeply concerned about the planet.
His wife Meghan Markle echoed this sentiment later on the same day, and said: “Globally, I think there’s a bit of a consciousness crisis and so the fact that we’re able to be here together and see on the ground so much good work that’s being done… just because people are willing to talk to each other about it and someone is willing to listen is huge.
“And that can apply to being here, certainly can apply to being in London, LA.
READ MORE: Kate and William’s ‘awkward’ reaction to ‘brutal’ Prince Andrew joke
Harry, Meghan and Archie in southern Africa before they left the Firm
“It doesn’t matter where you are, we’re all trying to power through and find some optimism.”
This shift in tone between the new report and Harry’s words from 2019 could reflect the royal’s own happiness at finding his feet outside of the monarchy.
As a friend told Town & Country magazine: “He felt that he had to do something to protect his family and create a better life for his family.
“I think that the life they are now living in California with their house and the work that they are able to do, the charity work they are doing and Archie growing up; they are really happy.”
However, while Harry is reportedly optimistic about his personal life, some commentators have pulled apart how effective Travalyst could be at initiating change.
It was set up in partnership with Booking.com, Ctrip, Skyscanner, TripAdvisor and Visa in an attempt to “change the impact of travel, for good”.
Leaked Royal Family documentary unveiled ‘Catch-22’ of monarchy [INSIGHT]
Anne’s regret after political incident should warn Harry and Meghan [EXPLAINED]
Princess Eugenie’s child will ‘follow Archie’s precedent’ [EXPOSED]
Harry speaking at the Travalyst summit last summer
Meghan and Harry have a new life together in LA
Journalist Helen Coffey analysed the first press release from the organisation, and asked where the “tangible, concrete details” were.
She wrote: “How are Prince Harry and several multi-million pound companies going to change travel ‘for good’?
“What is it they’re going to do, exactly?
“When and in fact where, are these projects going to materialise?”
In a brutal conclusion, she said that the initial press release contained “so many words, so little information” describing what the-then new scheme would be doing.
Writing in The Independent, she claimed: “Prince Harry’s name, coupled with the increasingly popular buzzwords of ‘sustainable tourism’, ‘conservation’, ‘climate change’ and ‘over-tourism’ ensured Travalyst got maximum exposure across print and broadcast media — all without having to state a single concrete detail. Impressive.”
Harry and Meghan’s relationship timeline
Then, last January, a spokesperson for Sussex Royal said that more announcements would be made “within the next 12 months”.
They explained: “There are key streams each of the partners are focusing on and working on.
“We’ll be doing pilot projects and research that will help inform very specific initiatives, times out over the next three years.”
Harry led an online summit for the platform in July, and the report on how travel can recover in 2021 was released on the Travalyst website this week.
It remains to be seen whether this report will become a turning point for Travalyst.