“The global health crisis continues to hold many in its grip, forcing communities and nations into one of the most difficult times in modern history,” the 36-year-old wrote.
“Those working in and relying on travel and tourism have experienced acute hardship over the past year,” the British royal shared. “In tourism, destinations have experienced an abrupt halt to the consistent flow of visitors seen in recent years.
“If anyone needed reminding, this has shown us just how vital the industry is to families and communities around the world. It has also brought into stark focus the need to reduce the adverse impact of tourism, including on the environment.”
Since the coronavirus pandemic has impacted the globe, traveling for leisure has been greatly limited to help stop the spread of the disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging Americans not to travel. If they do, getting tested is encouraged.
“We know that to not travel again is not an option,” wrote Harry. “It is our role – it is our obligation – to assist recovery and forge the right path forward; a path where we can again explore our world and expand our horizons, whilst the natural environment and wildlife flourish, and communities are supported.”
“That is what we mean by sustainability tourism and is what we strive towards as Travalyst,” Harry added.
Travalyst is an initiative Harry launched in late 2019 with the objective of making the traveling industry more sustainable by supporting local communities and safeguarding ecosystems and wildlife.
The report noted that as many as 174 million jobs in the travel industry “could be lost” amid the pandemic.
“Right before us, there is an opportunity to do things differently, to do things better,” Harry explained. “Travel and tourism are no exception. The modern world has often faced a dichotomy between the aspiration and need for development and growth, and the desire to protect natural resources and the environment.”
“Even in pre-pandemic times, it was clear that the industry has not yet tackled some of its key sustainability challenges: climate change, pollution, and biodiversity loss,” he continued. “As the industry re-emerges from the crisis, there is an urgent need to reset and reimagine. And as the bricks of rebuilding are laid, Travalyst will take a deliberate and dynamic approach.”
In early 2020, Harry and his wife Meghan Markle announced they were taking “a step back” as senior members of the royal family and instead work independently, splitting their time between the United Kingdom and North America.
The couple is currently residing in California with their son Archie, 1.
Harry will reportedly fly to the United Kingdom in June to attend the Trooping the Colour, Queen Elizabeth’s annual birthday parade, the Sunday Times reported. Prince Philip also turns 100 this spring.
The celebration will mark his grandmother’s 95th birthday and will be the first national celebration since the pandemic started in March.
Due to the lockdowns in 2020, last year’s Trooping the Colour took place at Windsor Castle instead of Buckingham Palace and was a much smaller affair.
Harry and his brother Prince William are also expected to appear for the statute unveiling of their late mother Princess Diana in Kensington Palace. The Princess of Wales would have turned 60 in July.