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Prince Harry's passionate plea to travel industry at virtual summit

The Duke of Sussex founded Travalyst last September 

Danielle Stacey

The Duke of Sussex has made his first appearance since revelations from royal biography Finding Freedom were published. Prince Harry, 35, joined a virtual global summit for his sustainable tourism project Travalyst on Thursday.

Speaking by video link from his Los Angeles home that he shares with wife Meghan and one-year-old son Archie, the Duke urged the travel industry to "build back better" after the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

READ: Meghan Markle questioned over personalised necklace - details

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WATCH: Harry's speech from the Travalyst summit in Edinburgh in February 2020

Harry said in his opening speech at the summit: "Many of you joining us today rely on visitors for your livelihoods.

"Businesses are hurting significantly, and I've heard from some of you who are currently struggling to put food on your family's tables and make ends meet because there are no tourists and therefore no income.

"We need to build back - but we need to build back better. And that means there's a responsibility, a responsibility we cannot avoid or dismiss, for us to reshape this industry in a way that benefits everyone and everything for decades to come."

MORE: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's relationship timeline: from their first date to baby Archie

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Harry at the Edinburgh summit in February 2020

The Duke launched Travalyst last September alongside Booking.com, Skyscanner, Trip.com TripAdvisor and Visa, with the ambition to change the impact of travel for good, and it now operates as an independent non-profit organisation based in the UK. He attended a working summit in Edinburgh in February.

Harry continued: "Before the pandemic unfolded we witnessed more and more young people expressing an interest in authentic travel experiences and an ability to partake in trips that are greener, that allow them to support local communities, uphold heritage and protect destinations and cultures.

"This is the future of travel, and a future that Travalyst is here to support and catalyse."

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Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family, £13.60, Amazon

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Excerpts from Finding Freedom written by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand were serialised in The Times last weekend. Revelations include sweet details from Harry and Meghan's first date, how Meghan relaxed before her wedding in May 2018 and Harry's thoughtful gifts for Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

A spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex previously told HELLO!: "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were not interviewed and did not contribute to ‘Finding Freedom’. This book is based on the authors’ own experiences as members of the royal press corps and their own independent reporting."

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