A message from our Founder and our CEO

May 9th, 2022

A few years ago, I founded Travalyst, a non-profit dedicated to making sustainable tourism mainstream for all of us, and through that, creating systemic change. 

Since then, the Travalyst team and its global coalition of Partners have been working around the clock on our shared belief that travel is a force for good in the world, if done in a way that protects both people and place.

More and more of us want better options for travel, accommodation and experience, and through our work together, Travalyst is making that a reality for everybody.

Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, Founder of Travalyst

So, Why New Zealand? 

We’ve started our learning narrow and focussed, in one location. And so, for the last year we’ve been working with operators and experts in New Zealand to discover what travelling sustainably looks like in the country, and what it means to the people that live there.

We selected New Zealand due to its impressive history as a leading sustainable tourism destination, and Travalyst is excited to amplify some of the hard work that New Zealand has undertaken in sustainability and showcase their areas of expertise, which include:

  • Regenerative tourism and how visitors can positively contribute to nature
  • Promoting and bringing awareness to Maori indigenous communities and culture
  • Building up experiences that incorporate locally crafted products and services

Notwithstanding, New Zealand’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic has been remarkable, and it was one of the few countries that were able to continue travelling domestically before much of the rest of the world

Introducing World Friendly Travel…

It is customary to rate and review the places you visit, your accommodations, your tours and activities; passing along your experiences and wisdom to the next traveller. However, if we are really going to make a difference collectively, we need to consider our own actions.

We’re asking you to reflect not on how the places you visited performed for you, but how you performed for the destinations you visited. When you look back on your recent trips across the country, would you rate yourself a 5-star traveller?

Did you take the time to understand and explore the region’s specific culture, and did you support local businesses while you visited?  Did you contribute towards your destination’s potential to thrive for years to come by looking after the local wildlife and habitats, and by behaving with all of the consideration for your personal consumption and waste in the way you would at home? Did you travel with Tiaki? Were you a World-Friendly Traveller? 

To help you reflect, and also learn how you might do better next time, we’ve gathered information and stories from across communities in New Zealand and from experts in sustainability; painting a picture of what good means, but also how it might vary from place to place or in different environments across the country.

We need your help…

Finally, we’re asking for your help to learn more about how you travel: how many of you want to make sustainable choices when you travel, what you look out for, and what stops you doing so? Look out for invitations to take our survey across the site, or find it here.

At Travalyst, we are inspired by the Māori worldview of kaitiakitanga, which links the wellbeing of people and culture with the protection and nurturing of the environment. We hope you enjoy exploring, learning, and contributing to our work. We can’t thank you enough for being here.

Sally Davey; CEO, Travalyst

Imagery: Zac Porter