The duo says that Covid-19 has put pressure on the tourism industry in South Africa and globally, and the project offers audiences the opportunity to virtually discover the best of the country.
"South Africa has been aptly described as a microcosm of the world, a place where civilisations meet," says Google South Africa country director Alistair Mokoena. "With its spectacular views, stunning wildlife and unbeatable biodiversity, bustling modern cities and vibrant economy, South Africa is often described as 'a world in one country'."
"In 2019, more than 10 million people visited. In 2020, on average, arrivals were substantially lower. October 2020 saw 91% fewer arrivals than October 2019, for example. We wanted to promote South Africa's heritage and destinations in a way that hasn't been done before to tempt them to visit in person as soon as they can," adds Mokoena.
"The Google Arts and Culture platform does a great job in creating awareness for the rest of the world to get a spectacular glimpse of South Africa, but what also excites me is the potential of the partnership to grow the sector on the digital front," says SA Tourism CEO Sisa Ntshona.
"We know that digitally-led is the norm and, through our partnership, we hope to equip the sector with the necessary skills to thrive and adapt in a digital environment," adds Ntshona.
"We have already started introducing some of Google's offerings at our nationwide SMME workshops and will continue with this and more throughout this year," Ntshona says.
"I am excited that South African Tourism and Google Arts and Culture are starting their collaboration," says Google Arts and Culture director Amit Sood. "The first phase of our partnership is now online to showcase incredible locations, hidden gems and adventurous activities across South Africa."
"We are looking forward to the next steps together with South African Tourism and we hope that anyone, anywhere will get a glimpse of what the country has to offer," Sood concludes.
For more information, visit g.co/sharesouthafrica
or download the Android or iOS Google Arts and Culture app.