The World Tourism Organisation (UNTWO) and Google have stepped in to help support the African tourism sector by providing firms with key industry insights, data management tips and digital marketing advice.
Researchers and marketing professionals from 20 African national tourism organisations were given two days of training around how to attract visitors and how to better position themselves in the market. They were also guided through data collection, analysis and management, supplemented with a regional course on digital marketing.
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 dashboards. Alongside this, the firms were also shown how Google’s Insights Tools can help guide sustainable recovery.
UNWTO secretary-general Zurab Pololikashvili said: “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.”
Google’s global destination marketing partner Iva Kutle Skrlec added: As part of our strong commitment to the tourism sector recovery, we are proud to launch this one of a kind digital curriculum designed specifically for Destination Marketing Organisations (DMOs), and to do so in Africa for the first time, acknowledging the needs of the region during this pandemic. We are confident that the curriculum will provide tourism organisations with tools and skills to navigate the fast-changing environment and expedite industry transformation.”
With a struggling aviation and tourism sector, Africa’s hospitality sector has also felt the bite of 2020 and the pandemic. For FY2020 overall occupancy rates tanking 52.6 percent to 29 percent. ADR meanwhile only inched a few percentages below 2019 figures, falling 3.3 percent to US$103.12. RevPAR dropped by 54.1 percent to $29.86, according to STR.
By comparison, for the Middle East, occupancy was down 30.3 percent compared to 2019 at 45.9 percent. ADR and RevPAR meanwhile were down 17.3 percent and 42.4 percent to $117.23 and $53.77 respectively.
Still, hoteliers operating in the continent remain optimistic, with Radisson’s VP of development Africa and Turkey Ramsay Rankoussi saying the region will always have potential.