Prince Harry has paid tribute to those in the travel industry who have been hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic.
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The Duke of Sussex described their "acute hardship" in a candid comment shared as part of The Re-emergence of Travel report from Travalyst.
"This global health crisis continues to hold many in its grip, forcing communities and nations into one of the most difficult times in modern history," said Harry in his foreword for the report, which identified the ways COVID-19 could impact the future of tourism. He continued: "Those working in and relying on travel and tourism have experienced acute hardship.
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"If anyone needed reminding, this has shown us just how vital the industry is to families and communities around the world."
Prince Harry is among many people across the world who have been unable to see their family since the COVID-19 outbreak. Both himself and his wife Meghan Markle stepped back as senior royals at the beginning of 2020 and are now living in Montecito, Santa Barbara with their son Archie Harrison.
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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex had planned to split their time between North America and the UK
Although they had reportedly made plans to split their time between North America and the UK, their trips have all been cancelled as a result of the virus. The couple were last seen publicly with the royal family at the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey in March 2020.
The Duke added: "We know that to not travel again is not an option. It is our role—it is our obligation—to assist recovery and forge the right path forward; a path where we can again explore our world and expand our horizons, whilst the natural environment and wildlife flourish, and communities are supported. That is what we mean by sustainability in tourism and is what we strive towards as Travalyst."
Harry and Meghan are reportedly planning to attend Trooping the Colour 2021 (pictured above in 2019)
And Harry has made it clear he will be travelling again as soon as it is safe to do so. Back in August, he spoke with staff and volunteers from the Rugby Football League on a Zoom call to mark the sport's 125th birthday.
The Duke said: "We've got a whole Rugby League World Cup coming next year. [referring to 2021]
"I definitely plan on coming back. I would have been back already had it not been for COVID."
Meanwhile, Harry and Meghan are expected to join the Queen for the monarch's annual birthday parade – Trooping the Colour – to mark her 95th birthday in June, The Sunday Times reported.
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