Tech giant, Google and the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation have announced a partnership that is aimed at helping the Nigerian tourism sector recover and grow in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This includes a partnership to provide training for small businesses, digital skills initiatives for individuals and the launch of a new Google Arts & Culture collection called ‘Tour Nigeria’.
Google Arts & Culture has worked with the NTDC over a number of months to create an online exhibition of imagery, stories and commentary highlighting some of Nigeria’s beautiful, hidden gems – from the Awhum Caves of Enugu, to the Farin Ruwa falls of Nasarawa, the Osun Osogbo sacred grove of Osun state, and the Wikki Warm spring of Bauchi state.
The project also features stories and photos from some of the most colourful cultural festivals in the country including the Yauri Rigata Festival, and the Kano Durbar Festival.
Google Arts & Culture and the NTDC have also launched a new ‘Explore Nigeria’ video series featuring top Nigerian social media influencers and YouTube creators.
This video-based series highlights the best of Nigeria through the eyes of these influencers:
“Rich heritage, natural beauty and vibrant cities, Nigeria is a destination we all need on our travel shortlist soon. Even though 2020 continues to be a challenging year for Nigerians and travellers from around the world, I hope that this unique online experience – created in collaboration with the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation – can contribute to further promote Nigeria’s iconic sites and capture its stories. And even though I can’t travel, the project inspired me to start that journey by exploring the country through the works of Africa’s first literary Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka”says Amit Sood, Director, Google Arts & Culture…
According to NTDC Director-General, Folorunsho Coker:
“The tourism sector is a key pillar of Nigeria’s economy. Initiatives that support and promote domestic tourism are critical, not only for the sector but also because a stronger tourism sector will help Nigeria’s economy recover in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. An expanded tourism sector will be able to drive employment and stimulate economic growth. Initiatives like Google’s – that are grounded in data-driven insights into how the sector can be supported and grown – strengthens NTDC’s ‘TOUR NIGERIA’ strategy, which seeks to promote domestic tourism in Nigeria.”
“We are even more convinced now of the validity of this strategy and the rightness of our path, and are excited to kick start this with the ‘TOUR NIGERIA’ collection with Google Arts & Culture”, says NTDC Director-General, Folorunsho Coker,” he adds
The partnership with NTDC will provide support for the local tourism sector including providing training programs to enable businesses to leverage online tools they can use to grow their businesses.
The program also features a digital skills program aimed at helping individuals to skill up so they can find jobs or further develop their careers within the tourism industry. SMBs are being assisted by way of digital migration programs to help them get online, and expand their audience reach.
Lastly, the partnership will create exposure for Nigeria’s tourist attractions through Google’s technology offerings including virtual reality, 360° videos, Street View, ultra-high-resolution “gigapixel” images and Google Arts & Culture initiatives.
“We’re always looking for new and creative ways in which technology can foster connections between people and the arts,” says Google Nigeria country director Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor.
“‘Explore Nigeria’ is an expression of that desire and a tangible program that demonstrates our economic support of and commitment to Nigeria”, She concludes.
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