Geotourist and the West Africa Tourism Organisation (WATO) are partnering in a revolutionary data initiative to generate visitor data insights that are not currently achievable in the region.

The initiative will be rolled out across 19 different countries including: Republic of Benin; Burkina Faso; Cameroon; Cabo Verde; Cote D’Ivoire; Gambia; Ghana; Guinea Bissau; Liberia; Mali; Mauritania; Niger; Nigeria; Sao Tome and Principe; Senegal; Sierra Leone; St Helena and Togo.

The partnership will onboard destinations and organisations to Geotourist’s award-winning technology and serve multimedia visitor self-guided tours.

The interactive trails can be used in-location with GPS as a guide or shared freely to enjoy virtually from anywhere in the world.

The joint initiative will integrate digital tours, powered by Geotourist, and accessed through WATO member mobile apps and websites, as well as the Geotourist global app, generating data bespoke to each of the country partners.

With connectivity and remote locations often an issue in the area, Geotourist’s leading offline GPS capabilities allows visitors to download the tours in advance and still enjoy the experience when visiting.

With tourism as an essential pillar for future growth in economic development, this data-driven approach will measure key drivers that deliver both an increase in visitor numbers, greater engagement and, ultimately, drive up the revenue generated by these visitors.

A global storytelling platform that preserves human-centred stories connected to places in location, Geotourist measures inspiration and travel intent through the engagement of digital media content, and becomes your trusted companion that guides you while visiting.

Addressing the widely unmet need across the travel and tourism industry, Geotourist answers the question, ‘What makes people travel?’

Working together, Geotourist and WATO aim to assess the impact of creating a digital footprint where none existed, and harnessing the data generated to inform strategic decision-making and improve tourism economic development, and campaign investment performance.

With global significance, this project will collectively help West African tourism organisations to unlock crucial, primary data sets that have previously not been possible.

The data generated by destinations’ own visitors removes the need for a third-party data provider or the generic data pool to provide destination leaders with accessible, actionable insights that reveal which activities deliver real visitors and which are directly losing organisations money.

The goal is to help destinations accelerate their economic growth by using data to focus on the activities that their visitors would travel for.

Ola Wright, CEO of the West Africa Tourism Organisation, said: “Primary data collection is among the top three objectives in our strategy to transform the tourism economic future of West Africa. We are excited about our partnership with Geotourist and have seen the level of visitor-insight available which we can leverage to help our member countries know where to invest precious capital or apply limited resources efficiently. West Africa is home to many of the world’s greatest tourism assets. Our data strategy, includes making it easy to harness insights from across the region to better understand visitor behaviour. Ultimately, the story that the data tells will inform where future potential opportunities may exist and this will increase confidence for those that wish to invest in the region.”

Shaon Talukder, CEO, of Geotourist said: “We look forward to working with WATO and its members to accelerate the tourism growth to the region. This expansion into West Africa positions Geotourist as a key ally in transforming the data landscape. With 19 countries working together, and arming each member country with precise visitor data, the scale of this data initiative is going to be big and any efficiencies derived from the data will therefore be substantial. If ever our analytics platform was going to help those that could benefit the most, this is certainly one of the most meaningful partnerships we could have hoped for. The data will equip leaders in destination management and destination marketing to make informed decisions that will improve their margins straight away enabling them to be more confident and ambitious with their actions.”

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