World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


UN teams up with Microsoft to help African tourism

UN tourism agency teams up with Microsoft to boost African tourism

The United Nations tourism agency has teamed up with Microsoft to use information technology to improve the industry’s competitiveness and quality in developing countries, especially in Africa which at present accounts for only 4 per cent of international tourism.

“This agreement is a huge leap forward for tourism… job creation, export income and capacity building for the world’s poorest countries - especially in Africa where it will be integrated into our programmes to alleviate poverty through sustainable tourism,” UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Secretary General Francesco Frangialli said.

The agreement, announced yesterday at the Global Leaders Forum for Africa in Cape Town, South Africa, has two immediate projects in hand involving the creation new information portals.

The first, called “Windows on Africa” and developed by UNWTO and the African Union’s New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), will showcase the continent in a globally competitive way. It will be able to be replicated at the national and local levels and link to visitor centres, museums, and libraries. Ultimately, it will even provide real-time advice via mobile devices with destination specific data.

The second portal, supporting UNWTO’s Emergency Response System, will collate information on catastrophes affecting tourism, providing a framework for improved industry response by bringing together public and sector-specific data and incorporating tools for information sharing and improved messaging.

It will help tourism destinations and stakeholders to respond more rapidly and effectively in emergencies and help recovery programmes. It will be used initially to strengthen industry preparedness for a potential bird flu pandemic.

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates cited the public/private partnership with UNWTO as the kind of implementing programme that will help over 40 million people in Africa drive toward future economic growth. “Microsoft wants to play a hands-on role to help countries and entire regions develop their knowledge-based economy, create jobs, spur growth and enable innovation,” he said.

“We can do this by providing easy and affordable access to technology and helping our partners build robust local software economies,” he added.

In another development, UNWTO reported that an estimated $682 billion was spent abroad by tourists in 2005, up $49 billion or 3.4 per cent on the previous year, pushing spending by tourists abroad to an average of more than $2 billion a day when transport costs of $130 billion are factored in - some 6 per cent of global export of all goods and services.

Africa’s increase over the previous years was 7.8 per cent, which Mr. Frangialli hailed as “a significant success story.”

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Haiti: $5 Million To Kick-Start Aid In Wake Of Hurricane Matthew

UN emergency fund allocates $5 million to kick-start assistance in wake of Hurricane Matthew More>>


Not Helen Clark: António Guterres Favourite For Next UN Secretary-General

Former Portuguese Prime Minister António Guterres has emerged as the clear favourite to become the next United Nations Secretary-General following the sixth secret ballot held today by the UN Security Council, which is expected to take a formal decision tomorrow and forward Mr. Guterres’ name to the 193-Member General Assembly for final confirmation. More>>


Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news