UNWTO - GOOGLE: Data and Marketing for Recovery

UNWTO - GOOGLE: Data and Marketing for Recovery -

UNWTO - GOOGLE: Data and Marketing for Recovery - Google DMO Capacity Building Africa Launch Event

Wednesday, 21 April 2021 (10.00 – 13.00 CEST)
Thursday, 22 April 2021 (10.00 – 13.00 CEST)


Objective: Accelerating tourism recovery in Africa by providing national and local NTOs and other DMOs with digital skills and know-how in data, research and marketing

Language: English

Preliminary Programme

Day 1 – Wednesday, 21 April 2021
10.00 – 10.15

Welcome and introductions from Google and UNWTO

UNWTO Representative – Elcia Grandcourt, Director, Regional Department for Africa
Google Representative – Nitin Gajria, Managing Director, Sub-Saharan Africa

10.15 – 10.25

UNWTO – Data and Insights for Action

Sandra Carvao, Chief, Tourism Market Intelligence and Competitiveness, UNWTO

10.25 – 10.50   

Introduction to the DMO Capability Building Curriculum – what is it, why was it developed, how can you implement it.

Iva Kutle Skrlec, Global Destination Marketing Partner, Google

10.50 – 11.00     


11.00 – 12.30  

Working session 1: The WHO pillar covering the basics of:

  • Importance of market and audience insights.
  • Google tools helpful to the tourism industry.
  • Travel audiences/segmentation solutions.


  • Songul Cengiz, Analytical Consultant
  • Rachel Barakat, Senior Account Manager
Day 2 – Thursday, 22 April 2021
10.00 – 10.05

Welcome back and Recap

Sandra Carvao, Chief, Tourism Market and Intelligence and Competitiveness, UNWTO
Iva Kutle Skrlec, Global Destination Marketing Partner, Google

10.05 – 11.30

Working session 2: The WHAT pillar covering the basics of:

  • Creative storytelling for DMOs
  • Digital content for DMOs, particularly video
  • Managing other digital assets such as website, Google My Business, Maps
  • Google Arts and Culture content

Speakers: Alex Brunori, Head of Creative Works, MENA, TR, SSA
Ilma Ramcevic, Performance Video Lead

11.30 – 11.45


11.45 – 13.00

Working session 3: The HOW Pillar covering the basics of:

  • Setting KPIs and measurement frameworks for DMOs
  • Media solutions for different types of objectives
  • Programmatic media buying
  • Organizational set up for success

Speaker: Ayesha Abbasi - Analytical Consultant

Sandra Carvao
Sandra Carvão
Chief, Tourism Market Intelligence and Competitiveness, UNWTO

Sandra Carvão is Chief of Tourism Market Intelligence and Competitiveness at the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) since June 2018. Before that, she was Chief of Communications and Publications for 8 years until May 2018 where she was responsible for UNWTO’s strategic positioning.

Prior to this post, Sandra was Deputy Chief at UNWTO’s Market Trends, Competitiveness and Trade in Tourism Services Department between 2007 and 2010. During this period, Sandra coordinated the Tourism Resilience Committee created by UNWTO to address the impacts of the global economic crisis 2008-2009 on tourism. Prior to joining UNWTO in 2003, Sandra held a position as market manager in the Portuguese National Tourist Office in Lisbon. Sandra has a degree in International Relations, Economics Branch, by the Instituto de Ciências Sociais e Políticas/Universidade Técnica de Lisboa and a postgraduade degree in Marketing by the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

Elcia Grandcourt
Elcia Grandcourt
Regional Director for Africa, UNWTO

Originally from the Seychelles, Elcia Grandcourt joined the World Tourism Organisation, a United Nations specialised Agency for Tourism in 2013 as Director, of the Regional Department for Africa. Elcia began her tourism career studying Hotel Management in Singapore at the Singapore Hotel Association and Education Centre (SHATEC). Thereafter, she occupied various positions in operations, reservations and sales mainly in hotels, including leading international brands such as Le Meridien and Hilton Worldwide Resorts. She was part of the rebranding team when Hilton Worldwide Resorts took over the management of the then Northolme hotel in Seychelles. She worked with the Seychelles national airline and destination management companies before joining the public sector to Seychelles Tourism Board as deputy CEO before being promoted to Chief Executive Officer, a position she occupied prior to joining UNWTO. Passionate about tourism, Elcia is honoured to be able to contribute towards sustainable tourism development in Africa. Elcia also holds a Master in Dynamics of Cooperation, Conflicts and Negotiation in International Relations and Diplomacy

Iva Kutle Skrlec
Iva Kutle Skrlec
Global Destination Marketing Partner, Google

Iva is a senior travel and tourism marketing professional who has been with Google for 6 years and she supports DMOs and tourism industry bodies through her role at Google's Global Tourism Acceleration Center. Prior to that she had managed Google’s relationship with some of the biggest travel and tourism companies including Emirates Airline, Dubai Tourism Board, Abu Dhabi Tourism Board. Before joining Google, Iva was a Marketing and E-Commerce Director at Croatia's leading hospitality company, Valamar Hotels & Resorts and a contributor to the Croatian National Tourism Strategy. She also spent seven years with a leading marketing agency in Croatia, as a Chief Strategist and Managing Director and she served as the National Coordinator for the Blue Flag and other sustainable tourism projects in Croatia.

Alex Brunori
Alex Brunori
Head of Creative Works MENA, TR, SSA

A true multi-disciplinary digital pioneer and innovation evangelist, Alex has a 25 years experience in the advertising industry, with a long string of successful case histories and awards. His career began in JWT Italy and continued as ECD of MRM Italy, CCO of McCann Worldgroup Italy and Regional CCO for Publicis ME, in Dubai. His work has won the most important industry awards, from the Cannes Lions to the MENA Effies and the Dubai Lynx and he has served as jury member in all the major global advertising contests. In August 2015 he joined Google in Dubai as the first ever Creative Impact Lead for Middle East and North Africa. On March 2021 has been appointed Head of Creative Works for MENA, TR and SSA, a role that allows him - collaborating closely with the best clients and creative partners in the Cluster - to design top-notch communication strategies and keep innovating the way brands approach the advertising Industry.

Ilma Ramcevic
Ilma Ramcevic
Performance Video Lead

Ilma is a Martech professional with 10 years experience in marketing, digital media and sales. Currently based in Dubai. 7+ years Googler, consulting key clients and agencies on digital advertising, focused on YouTube sales and strategies for the MENA market. Former TV Presenter and Chief Editor, including projects like the Eurovision and prime-time television content. Former Creative Agency Account Executive. Throughout her career Ilma worked with clients including UNICEF, Unilever, Nestle, Coca Cola, L'Oreal, Emirates Airlines, Amazon, Daimler, GM, Samsung, Pfizer and many others. As Senior coach and trainer, she worked with over 500 individuals at Google on their Storytelling and Presentation skills. 50+ conferences and events speaker experience. Major Halloween enthusiast.

Ayesha Abbasi
Ayesha Abbasi
Senior Analytical Consultant, UAE government

Ayesha Abbasi is an analytical consultant with over 10 years of digital marketing experience in the UAE. Ayesha for the past two years has focused on supporting government & DMO’s in the UAE on their digital growth & maturity. Prior to Google, Ayesha experience includes working in Dubai Tourism in developing their digital partnerships with major partners such as Google, Facebook & Snapchat as well as launching various of their global digital marketing activities that spanned 15+ Countries. In addition, Ayesha has digital experience in the automotive industry where she spent four years focusing on delivering major campaigns across MENA for General motors.

Songül Cengiz
Songül Cengiz
Principal Industry Analyst

Songül is an Industry Analyst specializing in the Government & Tourism sector. She is currently partnering with the largest DMOs globally, helping them unlock opportunities based on data and insights. Songül has been with Google for over 9 years and has also helped the largest travel aggregators and airlines develop an internationalization strategy.

Rachel Barakat
Rachel Barakat
Senior Account Manager

Rachel Barakat is a Principal Account Manager with over 10 years of marketing experience in MENA. For the past 4 years, Rachel has focused on supporting Destination / Event Marketing organizations, in the MENA region in their digital growth, in order to drive the tourism business in the region, and during/post pandemic, support the recovery of the industry.

Prior to Google, Rachel spent 6 years in Creative agencies like Leo Burnett, crafting communications strategies for multinational organizations in the region.