Google and the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has on Wednesday 23th September 2020, hosted the first UNWTO & Google Tourism Acceleration Program with much emphasis in Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa.
According to the internet giant ‘Google’, the program was put together ahead of the World Tourism Day.
The two organizations said they partnered to create and host an online Acceleration Program for UNWTO member states’ tourism ministers, top travel associations, and tourism boards. The initiative is put together to further develop innovation and digital transformation skills across Africa.
Google in a statement by its Director of Government Affairs and Public Policy for Emerging Markets, Doron Avni has this to say “While no one can say with certainty when the sector will recover, people are starting to dream of getaways again – whether closer to home or to remote destinations”. As the COVID – 19 pandemics has affected the huge revenues generated in the tourism sector hence this partnership is timely.
Avni also said, “Our travel data insights and tools can help tourism authorities identify and understand the barriers and drivers to visit travel destinations for better tourism planning”. He also added that as more and more people go online to search where and when they can travel, accelerating the digitization of the tourism sector will be key to helping it adapt and recover.
Similarly, the UNWTO Director of Innovation, Digital Transformation, and Investments, Natalia Bayona said the UNWTO is committed to helping Africa grow back stronger.
Bayona also said, “With the right policies, training, and management in place, innovation and technology have the potential to foster new and better jobs and business opportunities for tourism in Africa while improving the overall wellbeing and prosperity of the region”.
The UNWTO said data from the organization shows tourism represents 9 percent of global trade for Africa and one in 10 jobs directly and indirectly. The UNWTO added that tourism is the backbone of many economies around the world, and Africa is a tourism hob for over 30% of the world population.