South Africa inks deal with Google to promote its tourism
South Africa and Google have entered into an agreement aimed at positioning the African nation as a premier tourism destination. With its captivating beaches and safari experiences, South Africa draws both local and international tourists, making tourism a significant source of employment in the country.
Under this partnership, Google will contribute valuable insights into global travel trends. The tech giant will work closely with the South African tourism ministry, offering strategies to target specific markets and tailor experiences to meet visitor expectations. The collaboration also includes Google committing to supporting tourism startups with training in advertising, facilitating their digitization, and enhancing the global competitiveness of small businesses.
Described by the ministry as a non-monetary partnership, the agreement was formalized in Cape Town by South Africa's tourism minister, Patricia de Lille, and Alistair Mokoena, Country Director for Google South Africa.
South Africa's tourism industry stands out as a substantial avenue for growth, holding the potential to generate significant employment due to its high level of labor intensity. The sector's importance is underscored by its strong connections to other key economic sectors, which typically have low import intensity. To fully unlock the potential of the tourism industry and ensure sustainable growth, there is a pressing need for a responsive, innovative, and compassionate set of policy reforms in addition to collaborations like the Google deal. In a positive development signaling the recovery from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, international tourist arrivals surged to 4.8 million from January to July this year, a substantial 70.6% increase in arrivals compared to the same period in the previous year. Encouraged by this upward trend, the ministry has forecasted that the number of arrivals will surpass the pre-pandemic levels recorded in 2019, exceeding 10 million, by the end of March next year.