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    UNWTO partners with Google to drive tourism recovery

    The United Nation World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and Google have signed a new agreement to work together and lead global recovery of tourism through innovation, education and market intelligence.
    The new memorandum of understanding builds on past cooperation between the UN agency for tourism and Google.
    Notably, the pair will host trainings for destination management organisations, using a new capacity building curriculum developed by Google.
    These sessions will empower destinations to switch to digital, with the training adapted to reflect their specific circumstances and the unique challenges every destination currently faces.
    The new curriculum will also complement existing joint initiatives, and a data sharing agreement for Google’s Travel Insights to power a portion of the UNWTO’s tourism recovery tracker.ADVERTISEMENTAlongside this, the Tourism Accelerator Program, designed by Google in partnership with UNWTO, will also be scaled up globally.
    A pilot program launched across Europe, Middle East and Africa in 2020 showed the value of working with policymakers to put digital at the heart of their tourism recovery plans and the benefits of upskilling destination management companies so they can make effective use of data and market intelligence.
    The partnership will go beyond empowering destinations and businesses during the immediate recovery phase.
    Under the agreement, Google will provide ongoing support for a number of UNWTO’s leading initiatives, including Start-up Competitions designed to promote and support innovation across the sector.
    UNWTO secretary general, Zurab Pololikashvili, said: “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 realise the power of data and market intelligence, both increasingly important as global tourism looks to restart and recover.”
    Looking ahead, UNWTO and Google will also collaborate on joint research projects related to tourism.
    The results will further establish both parties as thought leaders and provide governments, destinations and businesses with the trusted data and insights they need to guide tourism towards recovery.
    Google 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 travellers in a digital environment.”

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    Amadeus signs new Abu Dhabi partner

    Amadeus has signed a wide-ranging technology partnership agreement with OK Travels and Tourism, a fully-fledged tour operator and ticket sales travel company in Abu Dhabi.
    The partnership with Amadeus will provide OK Travels and Tourism with access to a range of cutting-edge travel solutions including artificial intelligence, all designed to deliver a superior level of service to customers and remove friction from the travel experience.
    Muhammad Ali, managing director of OK Travels and Tourism, said: “We understand the challenges of the modern tourism industry and know that planning, developing, and adapting destination resources to the evolving needs of the market is the key to success.
    “In an increasingly digital world where more consumers are online.
    “Amadeus’ solutions will enable us to build upon this philosophy, taking our customer relationships and value-offering to the next level.”

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    Under the agreement, OK Travels and Tourism will benefit from products including Amadeus Web Services, which allows the creation of customer applications and delivery of a wealth of high-quality tailored content for customers, as well as a suite of other tools.
    Ernesto Sanchez Beaumont, managing director of Amadeus Gulf, said: “The UAE is an attractive travel hub, not only for residents from the region but also for global travellers looking to visit or transit through a country with robust health and safety systems in place.
    “In partnership with Amadeus, OK Travels and Tourism will have access to some of the most advanced global technology solutions to enhance its offerings, providing a key point of differentiation based on superior customer experience.”
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    UNWTO signs Expedia partnership to drive tourism recovery

    The World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has signed a deal to work alongside the Expedia Group to strengthen ties between the public and private tourism sectors.
    It is hoped the deal will drive a recovery from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.
    The two parties signed a memorandum of understanding that will see them collaborate on a range of topics, with the common goal of driving recovery and making the sector more resilient and sustainable.
    UNWTO secretary general, Zurab Pololikashvili, met with representatives of the Expedia Group in Brussels, on the back of successful talks with leaders of the European Institutions.
    Highlighting a commitment to strengthening ties with the private sector, this enhanced partnership will see the United Nations agency work more closely with the Expedia Group.

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    Joint actions will focus on market intelligence and innovation.
    UNWTO and Expedia will also work together to promote entrepreneurship and professional education, and in the field of consumer protection.
    Pololikashvili added: “From the very start of this crisis, UNWTO has been a strong advocate of close cooperation between the public and private sectors.
    “This enhanced partnership will help improve our knowledge of global tourism trends, allowing us to respond to new challenges and guide tourism’s recovery.
    “It will also help us place innovation and sustainability at the heart of this recovery, ensuring tourism emerges stronger than before.”
    The partnership with between UNWTO and Expedia Group will see both parties share data on tourism trends and developments, both at the global and the local scale.
    This will help inform decision-making, producing data-based policies aimed a tourism’s sustainable recovery and future development.
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