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Apr. 17, 2024

Leading technology and travel brands come together to address sustainable tourism

Apr. 17, 2024
  • Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, addressed the Travalyst coalition at its annual convening and urged the industry to put sustainability at the heart of tourism bookings
  • Travalyst’s founder talked to some of the people and places impacted by travel and tourism; from organisations that train people affected by homelessness to become walking tour guides, to a group that has electrified over 200 Himalayan villages
  • Travalyst expands its Independent Advisory Group which is made up of world-leading sustainability experts and academics

London, 17 April 2024: Travalyst, the not-for-profit organisation founded by Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, kicked off its annual convening on 16 April in the South of France. The two-day event brings together some of the biggest brands in travel and technology, as well as world-renowned experts to discuss sustainable and regenerative tourism. A key part of this year’s event was a roundtable discussion focused on communities, in which Travalyst’s founder took part, speaking with some of the people and places impacted by travel and tourism.

Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, said: “Travel and tourism relies on destinations, held together by communities, without which we have nowhere to travel to. Communities are the beating heart of travel, and we must do better by the people who are the custodians of the places we visit. We’ve heard from some fantastic organisations like Invisible Cities who train people affected by homelessness to be tour guides in their own city, and Global Himalayan Expedition, whose programmes have helped electrify over 200 Himalayan villages impacting over 60,000 lives for the better. More and more people are wanting to make informed travel choices so that the benefit of travel is felt by all. Travalyst and its partners bring a combined market value of nearly $3 trillion, and are working hard to provide that resource at a systems level.”

Travalyst, founded in 2019, is working with its partners to bring clear, consistent and credible sustainability information to the mainstream to help people make more informed travel choices. To date, Travalyst’s work has been focused on accommodation and aviation. Specifically:

  • The coalition is working to bring sustainability information about accommodation providers to scale for the first time. This information goes beyond emissions and aims to encompass the full spectrum of sustainability.
  • Vetting sustainability certifications for accommodation providers. Travalyst is screening them against criteria, approved by its Independent Advisory Group, and aims to have a master list of certifications soon.
  • Travalyst has scaled emissions estimates through its coalition so people booking flights have access to consistent information, enabling them to make lower emitting travel choices.

Travalyst used its annual convening to also announce changes to its Independent Advisory Group (IAG) following the departure of Chair, Diana Walker who has taken on a pivotal role as Senior Advisor Climate in the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate within the Biden Administration. Travalyst’s IAG, which oversees the work delivered by the coalition to ensure it is credible and industry-leading, will now be chaired by Dr Anna Spenceley, who has served on the IAG since Travalyst’s inception, and is renowned for her expertise in sustainable tourism. Professor Sara Dolnicar also joins the group, having won multiple awards for her groundbreaking research in the tourism industry, and Sarah Holloway will step into the newly created role of IAG Vice Chair.

Travalyst has assembled a coalition of some of the biggest brands in travel and technology, including Amadeus,, Expedia Group, Google, Mastercard, Sabre, Skyscanner, Travelport, Group, Tripadvisor and Visa. Together, our aim is to enhance travel at a systems level to benefit us all.


About Travalyst
Founded in 2019 by Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, Travalyst is a not-for-profit global coalition of some of the biggest brands in travel and technology: Amadeus,, Expedia Group, Google, Mastercard, Sabre, Skyscanner, Travelport, Group, Tripadvisor and Visa. Travalyst aims to bring sustainability information to the mainstream to help people make more informed travel choices. Find out more at

The convening is in the South of France at the offices of one of Travalyst’s partners; Amadeus – a global technology company that powers the travel and tourism industry. It is a fitting location for discussions given the Mediterranean region is the largest tourist destination in the world; pre-Covid more than 300 million tourists headed to the Med1 each year and this figure is expected to rise to 500 million by 2030.
¹ According to the United Nations Environment Programme

Biographies from communities roundtable attendees:

Zakia Moulaoui Guery – Founder, Invisible Cities (Scotland)
Zakia Moulaoui Guery is a social entrepreneur, guest speaker and presenter in sustainable tourism. In 2016 she founded Invisible Cities, an award-winning social enterprise that trains people who have experienced homelessness to become tour guides of their own city across Scotland. In 2021 they were awarded Best Community Tour in the world by Lonely Planet.

Katie Bastard – Director of Conservation, Sarara (Kenya)
The Bastard family has been working closely with the Samburu tribe for 30 years. Today, Katie and her husband Jeremy run Sarara, a unique community conservation model that supports people to conserve wildlife within the Samburu tribe-owned Namunyak Conservancy. Sarara includes The Serara Foundation – where Jeremy and Titus Letaapo work together, Reteti Elephant Sanctuary and Sarara Camp eco-lodge.

Titus Letaapo – Director of Community, The Sarara Foundation (Kenya)
Hailing from the Samburu community, Titus facilitates vital collaborations between County Governments and communities to help launch sustainable programs, and ensure their continued success.

Jeny Pokharel – Founder, SASANE Sisterhood Trekking and Travel (Nepal)
Born and raised in Nepal, Jeny is a Founder of SSTT, a social company that trains female survivors of human trafficking to become certified tour and trekking guides. Jeny’s work in the field of women’s legal and economic empowerment has been recognised by several awards. She is also a Board member of The Roundtable Human Rights in Tourism.

Paras Loomba – Founder, Global Himalayan Expeditions (Himalayas)
An electrical engineer by profession, Paras merges technology and adventure tourism to create local entrepreneurial models for remote areas by advocating sustainable tourism solutions. GHE counts among its many successes electrifying over 200 villages and impacting over 60,000 lives.

Dorje Tsewang – Local Member, Global Himalayan Expeditions
Dorje has helped generate sustainable livelihoods by setting up homestays and supporting local entrepreneurs in his own village and other remote rural areas. He’s also part of a community-led astro-tourism project. Winner of the Silver Award in the Grassroots Heroes category at the Outlook Responsible Tourism Awards in 2022.

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