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Prince Harry announced the first of his and Meghan Markle’s own Sussex Royal Foundation’s programs today—and directly commented on the couple’s private jet use, as the program is based on eco-friendly travel. Harry launched Travalyst in Amsterdam, which will help tourists make more environmentally-friendly decisions as they travel (carbon offsetting tips, ways to support the local community, etc.), Harper’s Bazaar reported today. According to the outlet’s royal reporter Omid Scobie, Harry worked for more than two years on this program with Booking.com, SkyScanner, CTrip, TripAdvisor, and Visa.
“Travel has the unparalleled power to open people’s minds to different cultures, new experiences, and to have a profound appreciation for what our world has to offer,” Harry said in a statement on the program. “As tourism inevitably grows, it is critically important to accelerate the adoption of sustainable practices worldwide and to balance this growth with the needs of the environment and the local population. Bringing companies, consumers, and communities together is our best chance to protect destinations and ecosystems for future generations.”
During his appearance in Amsterdam, Harry explained why he and Meghan Markle took private jets for their two vacations this summer. Their decision sparked controversy in the British tabloids, despite the fact that other royal family members, including Kate Middleton, Prince William, Prince Andrew, and more, also sometimes take private jets when traveling.
“We can all do better and while no one is perfect, we all have a responsibility for our own individual impact,” Harry said, via People. “The question is what we do to balance it out.”
He was asked about his private jet use more directly in a Q&A later. Harry said, “I came here by commercial. I spend 99% of my life traveling the world by commercial. Occasionally there needs to be an opportunity based on a unique circumstance to ensure my family are safe and it’s genuinely as simple as that.”