Google and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) have signed a new contract to work together on a multi-pronged strategy aimed to lead global travel and tourism to recovery.
The new agreement builds on previous cooperation between the UN specialized agency for tourism and Google. With many countries around the world looking to reopen their doors to tourism, the partnership will focus on harnessing the power of innovation, education, data and market intelligence to drive sustainable and inclusive recovery.
Commenting about the agreement, Google’s Managing Director for Travel Partnerships Gianni Marostica said, “We’re honoured to be working alongside UNWTO in this vital effort to support the global tourism sector on its path toward broader economic recovery. It’s critical that both policymakers and businesses have the tools and insights they need to reconnect with travelers in a digital environment.”
Trainings for Destination Management Organizations (DMOs) will be hosted by both organisations using of a new Capacity Building Curriculum developed by Google. These sessions will allow destinations to switch to digital, with the training tailored to reflect their specific conditions and the unique challenges every nation currently faces. The new Capacity Building Curriculum will also complement the already existing joint initiatives, and a data sharing agreement for Google’s Travel Insights to power a portion of the UNWTO’s tourism recovery tracker.
The agreement will also bring expansion to the Tourism Accelerator Program, designed by Google in partnership with UNWTO to help global destination leaders use data and market intelligence. A pilot program launched in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria in September 2020 followed by a similar online accelerator providing details for tourism leaders in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. On June 8, a third accelerator focused on Croatia, Greece, Portugal and Italy will be launched.
Under the terms of the agreement, Google will also provide ongoing support for a number of UNWTO’s leading initiatives, including startup competitions that would promote and support innovation across the tourism sector.
“The strong partnership between UNWTO and Google will help put innovation and digital at the centre of tourism’s recovery. By working together, UNWTO and Google will empower destinations, businesses and tourism workers to realize the power of data and market intelligence, both increasingly important as global tourism looks to restart and recover,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili.
The two organisations will also work together on joint research projects related to tourism aimed at provide governments, destinations and businesses trusted data and insights that they could use to guide tourism towards back to recovery.