The pandemic has changed people’s lives and had a huge impact on all fields. Travel is surely one of the aspects that had to face most changes. Meanwhile, sustainability has become one of the main issues globally and new and innovative ways of traveling are necessary. Given these crucial points, the Travalyst partnership was founded to transform the future of travelers.
The non-profit organization was founded in September 2019 and is led by the Duke of Sussex in collaboration with Google, who recently joined the group comprised of Skyscanner, Booking. com, Trip.com, Tripadvisor and Visa. Their key aim is to make sustainable tourism a reality for all, not just a niche chance.
Covid-19 has accelerated the process of travel transformation since tourism had previously shown some negative consequences in some parts of the world. Indeed, some destinations have seen massive over-tourism with adverse impact on the environment. According to the 2019 Report on Travalyst, the re-emerging industry has to start off again from some points that have become crucial globally such as pollution, climate change, and biodiversity.
Sustainability frame for all the travel industry
This partnership draws from its collective expertise, its unique insights into global travelers, and builds on each partner’s long-established links with local communities, policymakers, governments, non-governmental organizations, leading businesses, and social entrepreneurs.
Building upon the many excellent and thorough standards, initiatives, and frameworks, Travelyst focuses on bringing together the existing models through a universal system in order to apply them to all providers in the industry. It works as a real community.
We know from our research that 82% of our accommodation partners are interested in collaborating with us on the topic of sustainability and that 87% of global travelers think that’s it’s important to consider sustainable properties when traveling, Despite this tremendous interest on both sides, the majority of consumers still don’t know where to startGillian Tans, Chairwoman of Booking.com
Every partner is focusing on different frames like Skyscanner is doing for transparency around carbon emissions for individual flights, while also exploring ways to highlight the overall sustainability practices of individual airlines. Accommodation, aviation, and experience stages are being verified and validated by stakeholders to collect feedback.
New independent advisory group
To provide the independent and critical analysis that is essential to ensure broad adoption and success of Travalyst initiatives and activities, the founding partners have established an advisory group to assess and guide the work of the coalition. Including experts from travel, technology, academia and sustainability, the advisory group is being led by Forum for the Future and chaired by their CEO, Dr. Sally Uren, OBE.
The current members of the Travalyst advisory group are:
- Dr. Anna Spenceley, Chair of IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist (TAPAS) Group, Board Member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC)
- Darrell Wade, Co-founder of Intrepid Travel and Executive Chair of the Intrepid Group
- Greg McDougall, Founder and CEO of the Harbour Air Group
- Jeremy Smith, Co-founder, Travindy and Co-founder Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency
- Marten Dresen, Founder and CEO of the Good Hotel Group
- Dr. Xavier Font, Professor of Sustainability Marketing at the University of Surrey, and Head of Impact for Travindy
The advisory group will provide independent strategic guidance for all initiatives put forward by the Travalyst partners, ensure that final outputs have the potential to be scalable and reproducible for the entire industry, and help drive positive change as ambassadors throughout the travel and tourism sector.