Prince Harry addressed the virtual Global Summit of his sustainable tourism initiative Travalyst on Thursday, making his first public appearance ever since revelations from the upcoming tell-all book Finding Freedom were released.
Prince Harry: "A responsibility we cannot avoid or dismiss"
The Duke spoke via video-link from his home in Los Angeles, where he, Duchess Meghan and Archie have been living since early 2020 and told the travel industry that it needs to "build back better" from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said in his opening speech: "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. And that means there's a responsibility, a responsibility we cannot avoid or dismiss, for us to reshape this industry in a way that benefits everyone and everything for decades to come."
Prince Harry wants to make tourism eco-friendly
Prince Harry launched Travalyst last September alongside Booking.com, SkyScanner, CTrip, TripAdvisor, and Visa with the goal of promoting eco-friendly tourism that benefits local communities just as much as it does those operating the tours.
The Duke's appearance at the Travalyst summit comes just days after the first excerpts from the upcoming book Finding Freedom were published by People.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have since released a statement in which they have made clear that they did not contribute to the book and that it is based "on the authors’ own experiences as members of the royal press corps and their own independent reporting."