Prince Harry asks to be introduced as 'just Harry' at Travalyst event

By Heather Cichowski, with files from Danielle Stacey and Zach Harper

On Feb. 26, Prince Harry stepped out to his first UK engagement since leaving the country in January to spend time with Duchess Meghan and Archie in Canada. He helped welcome guests to a Travalyst summit in Edinburgh, Scotland. At the event for his new environmental tourism initiative, he requested to be introduced as "just Harry."

It was previously reported that Harry would welcome people to the event, but he wouldn't be making any speeches, nor would he be on any panels that are part of the summit.

Harry took to the stage to provide an introduction and share more details about Travalyst, according to HELLO! UK. The Duke of Sussex reportedly told delegates to refer to him as his nickname (since his actual first name is Henry).

"He's made it clear that we are all just to call him 'Harry,'" host Ayesha Hazarika explained. "'So ladies and gentlemen, please give a big, warm, Scottish welcome to Harry.'"

Harry looked very pleased to be promoting his initiative, which is going to be very important for consumers trying to make eco-friendly decisions when travelling. Photo: © ANDREW MILLIGAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

In his short speech, Harry touched on the expanding tourism industry and the importance of being conscious of the environment.

MORE: Prince Harry promotes next engagement in funny text message 'convo' with Jon Bon Jovi

"Tourism is one of the world’s largest economic sectors – generating nearly 9 trillion dollars globally each year – representing 1 in 10 jobs and more than 10% of the world's GDP – and, it is rapidly growing. It is predicted that tourism will reach over 1.8 billion travellers by 2030.

"If we do not act, and in large part get ahead of this inevitable surge, this massive increase will mean we see more of the world’s beautiful destinations closed or destroyed, more communities becoming overwhelmed, more beaches shut because of pollution, and animals and wildlife driven from their natural habitat, which has a huge impact on communities and reduces tourism opportunities.

Harry launched Travalyst in 2019 at an event in Amsterdam. Photo: © Chris Jackson/Getty Images

"But we are here to find ways to make sure that does not happen. We all see a future where people are able to take holidays and trips that have social, environmental and economic benefits to communities and destinations built-in. Based on our research, there is an increasing desire for these types of trips – and we want to make them a reality for everyone, but we can't do it without your help."

Harry also shared more information about Travalyst on the Sussex Royal Instagram, and the importance of Scotland in the initiative, which is "one of the world’s fastest growing tourist destinations."

"The number of tourists globally is rapidly rising, and based on an increasing desire from travellers, The Duke’s international partnership Travalyst is working to ensure the industry can better support communities that face increasing challenges of overcrowding, pollution, and the climate emergency.

"Supporting these communities means preserving these destinations for everyone."

Harry, who is known as the Earl of Dumbarton in Scotland, was attending the summit with more than 100 people from the country's tourism and travel industry to discuss how Travalyst can work there. The initiative is in line with Harry's passion for the environment and conservation.

Travalyst is a partnership founded by Harry that includes Booking.com, Skyscanner, Tripadvisor, Trip.com and Visa. Its goal is to "serve as a cross-channel guide for scoring sustainability practices across the travel and tourism industry," according to a press release.

Harry has been spending most of 2020 in Canada in a house on Vancouver Island with Duchess Meghan and their young son, Archie.

We will see him and Meghan undertake separate and joint engagements several times before they officially step down from their senior roles.

MORE: Buckingham Palace reveals more information about Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry's transition out of senior royal roles

Royals fans will see Harry step out again on Feb. 28 for an exciting engagement with Jon Bon Jovi. The two will visit Abbey Road Studios to see the Invictus Games Choir record a song the rock star wrote to support the Invictus Games, which take place in The Hague this year. The two promoted the choir recording with a funny text message "convo."

Currently, Harry and Meghan's final joint engagement as senior members of the Royal Family is scheduled for March 9. They will attend Commonwealth Day services with members of the family. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will officially step down on March 31.

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