Google and the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) have announced a strategy supporting the recovery of the global travel and tourism industry. The strategy is built on a training seminar for representatives from 20 African national tourism organizations, as well as an agreement on similar programmes in the Middle East.
Digital tools and data for tourism recovery
The plan calls for Google and the UNWTO to train destination management organizations worldwide based on a “Capacity Building Curriculum” developed by Google to help destinations use digital tools and data for recovery.
The curriculum is delivered by experts from Google’s travel and advertising businesses and is tailored for the regions where it is offered, with sessions on data collection and analysis, digital marketing, and storytelling.
Google has noted that global searches by users hoping to travel again are ticking up considerably, with searches for “where to travel,” “can I travel?”, and “Covid travel restrictions” becoming common. A destination search, for example, on the term “discover the city of (…)” may be capitalized on by restaurants, hotels, or entertainment venues, who are now able to pinpoint the predominant country of origin of this search and modify their digital marketing campaigns accordingly, targeting potential travellers to that particular city.
Entrusted with the promotion of responsible, sustainable, and universally accessible tourism, the World Tourism Organization is working with Google to help destination leaders use such data and market intelligence. The agreement with Google expands the “Tourism Accelerator” programme pioneered on focused insights from South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria. A similar accelerator steered leaders in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, while a third focused on Croatia, Greece, Portugal, and Italy, bolstered the initiative.
Tools and insights to reconnect with travellers in digital environment
Google said it will back UNWTO initiatives such as supporting start-ups that promote innovation across travel and tourism. “Travel Insights with Google” is a set of tools providing powerful insights into real-time travel demand based on global Google Search data and backs part of the UNWTO’s tourism plans. Plans are also underway to collaborate on research projects related to tourism.
Gianni Marostica, Google’s managing director for travel partnerships, said that policymakers and businesses should have these tools and insights to reconnect with travellers in a digital environment. Google said its “Focusing Facts” section offers data from the most recent 84 days and provides information on the country with the fastest growing interest worldwide as a travel destination, the country with the most inbound interest, and the most searched-for destination city in the user’s country.