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Prince launches ecotourism project


Lee Hayhurst Amsterdam


Agents were told they can play a key role in creating a sustainable future for the travel industry as Prince Harry and some of the sector’s biggest online players launched an ecotourism project. Travalyst, a new global


partnership that aims to develop and implement sustainable policies and best practice in travel, was launched by the Duke of Sussex in Amsterdam on Tuesday. It is backed by firms including


Skyscanner, Booking.com and TripAdvisor. Bryan Dove, Skyscanner chief executive, told Travel Weekly: “Our opportunity, if we’re working in


digital or face to face, is to understand how we can help people find more sustainable experiences and see destinations that were not top of mind. “Tis is not about inhibiting


choice, it’s about broadening people’s horizons to understand there might be other locations that give them unique and different experiences.” Prince Harry said he was inspired


to create Travalyst having seen first-hand the impact of tourism. Te prince said: “As tourism


inevitably grows, it is crucially 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


Prince Harry: ‘It’s crucial to accelerate the adoption of sustainable practices’


and communities together is our best chance to protect destinations and ecosystems for future generations.” Te prince defended his use of


private jets, saying he occasionally needs to ensure his family is safe. He said he flew to Tuesday’s event on a commercial aircraſt. Travalyst will work with companies,


consumers and communities to explore solutions to increase the adoption of sustainable practices in areas including supporting local people, protecting wildlife, tackling climate change, environmental damage and addressing overtourism.


Hurricane Dorian triggers rush to amend bookings


Juliet Dennis and Harry Kemble


Operators scrambled to rebook flights and accommodation and cruise lines changed itineraries as the first major hurricane of the season hit the Bahamas. Hurricane Dorian batered Grand


Bahama and devastated large parts of the north Bahamas at the start of the week, leaving at least five dead and causing severe damage to buildings.


4 5 SEPTEMBER 2019


Life-endangering storms were threatening to hit the east coast of Florida, Georgia and North and South Carolina as Travel Weekly went to press. Orlando’s Sandford International


airport closed on Monday, followed by Orlando International airport on Tuesday, with airlines issuing free waivers to change or cancel bookings while cruise lines cancelled and rerouted scores of itineraries. Operators called in extra staff at


the weekend to cope with requests from clients to rearrange travel plans.


Freeport, Bahamas, on Tuesday


USAirtours had 445 clients due to


travel this week to Florida and North Carolina and 285 passengers due back. Chief executive Guy Novik said:


“Our aſter-sales team of six were on duty last weekend whereas normally we have one. It has not been helped by the fact it is a fluid situation with lots of cancelled flights. “We have a fairly well-oiled


contingency team but larger hurricanes cause a larger workload.” Tomas Cook and Tui offered free changes and cancellations


for customers due to travel up to Tursday this week. Virgin Atlantic and British


Airways allowed free changes on flights to and from the US East Coast until the end of this week. At least six cruise lines adjusted


or cancelled dozens of itineraries following the closure of ports in Florida and the Bahamas. Royal Caribbean’s private island


CocoCay and Norwegian Cruise Line’s Great Stirrup Cay were among those removed from itineraries.


travelweekly.co.uk


PICTURE: TIm Aylen/AP/Shutterstock


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