Travel and Tourism - July 15, 2021

Google’s New Suite Could Transform Africa’s Tourism Industry

Africa’s multi-billion dollar industry remains a key growth driver to the continent’s economy contributing 8.5% of the GDP in 2018; equivalent to $194.2 billion. Like every other tourism ecosystem, Africa’s relies largely on the ability to forecast travel demand. For various players involved such as hotels, resorts, museums, etc., pinpointing where people want to travel is crucial for planning budgets and increasing value.

However, this has always been a challenge and the COVID-19 pandemic even made matters worse by increasing irregularities in how tourists travel. The African Union estimates that Africa lost nearly $55 billion in travel and tourism revenues and two million jobs in only the first three months of the pandemic.

Global tech giant, Google has come to the rescue with the launch of Travel Insights with Google, a new -suite of free tools that use Google Search data to deliver real-time insights on travel demand.

The first tool, Destination Insights, provides a clear view of where travel demand is coming from so that businesses, municipalities, and tourist boards can prepare accordingly. Hotel Insights, a second tool, has been designed to assist hotels in analysing search trends in order to attract new visitors based on where interest is coming from.

“It’s really difficult to find any anchor of data to forecast the future, and so we felt it was a good time right now to share some of our search data with the industry to help travel companies understand what users are looking for. And here’s the kind of queries they’re doing, and here’s the data and information they’re interested in,” says Gianni Marostica, Managing Director of Global Business Development for Google Travel.
Travel insights with Google could play a pivotal role in helping Africa’s struggling tourism industry recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, by increasing the efficiency of budgets and services.

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