Duke at eco-summit

Prince Harry warns tourism destroying world’s hot spots

The Duke at the rostrum: ‘Just call me Harry’, he said

Prince Harry told a gathering of travel industry representatives in Edinburgh today that without action a many of the world’s most beautiful destinations will be destroyed by tourism.

In an address to 100 delegates the EICC he spoke up for the benefits of travel, but warned that it had to be controlled.

“We believe travel is a good thing. It is the heart of human experience, of cultural connections, and of new friendships,” he said.

“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.”

Harry: beautiful destinations may be closed or destroyed

However, he added: “It is predicted that tourism will reach over 1.8 billion travellers by 2030.

“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 on communities and reduces tourism opportunities.

“But we are here to find ways to make sure that does not happen.”

He was speaking on behalf of his Travalyst initiative which has brought together some of the biggest operators in the travel industry – including Visa, Booking.com and Skyscanner – to help travellers pick low carbon options more easily and chose destinations that will have more benefit to local communities.

We have to work together… to scale up the good practices already being used around the world

– Prince Harry, speaking at Travalyst event

The Duke of Sussex, who told his audience “just call me Harry”, also said: “We have to work together… to scale up the good practices already being used around the world. Scotland is a great example of what we mean. There is a holistic ambition to Scotland’s intent that can be adopted across the UK and even around the world.

“Scotland is one of the fastest growing tourism destinations worldwide and it’s at the forefront of a more sustainable approach, which is why your insight into these issues is so incredibly valuable.”

A spokesman for the Travalyst partnership said: ‘Our ambition is to transform travel and tourism so that every holiday people take, every trip they book, will have a positive impact and better protect the destinations and communities they visit. 

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