Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
THE United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and Google have partnered to guide the restart of Africa’s tourism sector through the provision of expertise on data management and digital marketing.
UNWTO said the expertise was being offered through a capacity building programme, which last week saw 20 African national tourism organisations benefiting from themes designed to help them attract visitors and better manage their tourism sectors.
“The UNWTO continues to advance its commitment to the African tourism sector by partnering with Google to help destinations gain expert insights into data management and digital marketing,” said UNWTO in a statement.
It said the training programme also focuses on insights into data collection, analysis and management, and digital marketing, with a particular emphasis on how digital content and storytelling can be powerful tools for restarting tourism and supporting recovery in the wake of the pandemic.
“To put theory into practice, participants were able to learn more about UNWTO’s tools to provide market insights and to support recovery, including the UNWTO Recovery Tracker and its trusted dashboards.
“Alongside this, the national tourism organisations were also shown how Google’s Insights Tools can help guide sustainable recovery,” it said.
In January this year, international tourist arrivals declined by 87 percent compared to 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The deadly disease was first detected in China in December 2019 and has spread across the globe, posing adverse health and economic implications.
UNWTO secretary-general Mr Zurab Pololikashvili was quoted as saying: “The UNWTO Agenda for Africa aims to harness the power of tourism to drive sustainable development across Africa. By partnering with Google, we are ensuring our Member States are able to use data insights and digital marketing to recover from the current crisis, restart their tourism sectors and grow back smarter and better.”
The capacity building programme forms part of the wider partnership between UNWTO and Google. The two organisations were cooperating closely on matters of mutual interest in order to achieve common objectives, which include data, market research on consumer trends and forecasting, innovation, education and digital transformation, as well as capacity building.
UNWTO has continued to call for stronger coordination on travel protocols between countries to ensure the safe restart of tourism and avoid another year of massive losses for the sector. – @okazunga