The Covid-19 crisis crippled the tourism sector, disenfranchising hundreds of millions of people whose lives depended on the tourism economy. There is no certain date or time when the tourism sector is expected to recover. Nevertheless, a new wave of optimism seems on the horizon as cases seem to drop in Africa. As more people search for ways to accelerate the digitization of their tourism sectors, new opportunities are emerging.
Google and the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) just announced a partnership with the online Acceleration Program for top travel associations, tourism ministers for the UNWTO Member States, and tourism boards in their efforts to develop innovation, and share transformative digital skills.
The World Tourism Day held on September 23rd hosted the first Google Tourism Acceleration Program where the UNWTO focussed on insights from Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya. WTO figures show that tourism accounts for 9% of Africa’s GDP. That means 1 in 10 people employed is directly or indirectly supported by the tourism ecosystem. The strategy is aimed at matching ongoing UNWTO training programmes focussed on data intelligence. “In line with the ongoing UNWTO training programme on data and intelligence for Africa, this partnership with Google allows UNWTO to strengthen Africa’s data and digital skills,” says Sandra Carvao, Chief of Market Intelligence and Competitiveness at the UNWTO.
“UNWTO is committed to helping Africa grow back stronger,” says Natalia Bayona, the director of Innovation, Digital Transformation and Investments at the UNWTO.
Africa is now home to 30% of the world’s population, with hundreds of millions of online users. Google is a trusted African partner in finding reliable and relevant information.