UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has partnered Google in a programme for UNWTO member states’ to drive innovation and digital transformation skills.

The project, which witnessed its first on Thursday, focused on Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa.

At the virtual event, representatives of both bodies described tourism as the backbone of many economies around the world, citing it as representing nine percent of the global trade for Africa.

“UNWTO is committed to helping Africa grow back stronger,” said Natalia Bayona, UNWTO’s director of innovation, digital transformation, and investments.

“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.”

Africa is home to 30 percent of the world’s population, adding hundreds of millions of new online users annually, with Google being one of the places Africans go to research and book for travels.

“We’re here to help the sector recover from this unprecedented crisis and emerge stronger,” said Doron Avni, Google’s director of government affairs and public policy for emerging markets.

“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.”

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