“80% of all tourism occurs within coastal areas, according to WWF.
- Thailand’s Maya beach
- Philipine’s Boracay island
- Indonesia’s Komodo island
- Faroe islandsPalau’s Jellyfish Lake
They’re just a few of the early adopters in a tactic which may soon need to be standard practice, as a way to keep the tourist hoards away
In 2017, Thailand closed off four of its islands to tourists – indefinitely. Boat anchors and swimmers had destroyed 80% of the reefs in the area.
In the words of CNN:Managing a popular tourist attraction can be kind of like throwing a party – everyone wants to come & have fun, but nobody wants to help clean up when it’s over.
Thankfully, there seems to be consumer demand for Responsible Travel – the issue is that people don’t know what’s sustainable/responsible anymore.
Enter: Prince Harry
Yes – that prince. The Duke of Sussex has launched an initiative to promote sustainable travel across the $8.8 trillion global industry. Booking.com, TripAdvisor, Skyscanner, Ctrip, and Visa have recently announced they’ve joined Prince Harry’s initiative to create Travalyst, in an effort to help travelers offset carbon dioxide emissions.
Travalyst fight against overtourism will be on the spotlight in the months to come, and the entire world is watching.
Travalyst – Responsible Travel
Travel as a catalyst for good. Travalyst will work with both companies and communities to explore solutions to lead sustainable change in travel, in a number of areas including: wildlife conservation, climate change, environmental damage and overtourism.
“We can all do better, and while no one is perfect, we all have a responsibility for our own individual impact. The question is what we do to balance it out.”
Travalyst fight against overtourism seems to have the right mix of engagement and support from the industry to actually make good things happen.
Conde Nast Traveler reports that “While the Duke grew up around the conservation efforts of his father, Charles, Prince of Wales, it was a trip to the Caribbean on the Queen’s behalf in November 2016—where he saw destinations that may not exist for his own grandchildren to visit—that got him truly thinking about how he could use his platform to be part of the solution.”
“Bringing companies, consumers and communities together is our best chance to protect destinations and ecosystems for future generations.” stated Prince Harry.
According to World Bank, the number of trips taken annually by people around the world has more than doubled since 2000 – with the number of international trips taken globally each year reaching a whooping 1.4bn last year.
Sustainable Travel & Consumer Trends
When 71% of global travelers think travel companies should offer more sustainable travel choices, and 78% actively seek authentic experiences that reflect local culture, there is increasing demand – and positive pressure – on the 8.8 trillion $ industry.
You can read Prince Harry’s speech at the launch of Travalyst in Amsterdam here:
So there’s a lot of buzz, and expectations run high. I will be following Travalyst fight against overtourism – and bringing responsible travel from niche to mainstream – with much interest.
And I sincerely hope that this travel sustainability pact they just announced will have the power (and goodwill) to stave off the destruction we’re causing as a species, while mindlessly enjoying our “right to travel”
In the meantime, if you do Travel: Travel.Differently.