Airbnb numbers in South Africa are impressive
Updated: Jan 26, 2019
Staff Writer 15 September 2018 BusinessTech
Airbnb published a new report showcasing how Airbnb in South Africa attracts new guests who are seeking different experiences, ensures local residents benefit from this tourism growth, and helps to empower a far more diverse range of people and places.
The report also includes a new analysis by Genesis Analytics, demonstrating how in the past year the ripple effect of host and guest activity on Airbnb generated an estimated $678 million in economic impact in South Africa, supporting over 22,000 jobs across the broader South African economy.
The report showed that since Airbnb’s founding, two million guests have arrived at listings on Airbnb in South Africa and 3.5 million guests have arrived at listings across Africa as a whole, with roughly half of these arrivals occuring in just the past year.
The African continent actually features three of the top-eight fastest growing countries for guest arrivals on Airbnb (Nigeria, Ghana and Mozambique).
This growth is mainly generated by guests seeking a different travel experience; 8 in 10 guests choose the Airbnb platform to explore a specific neighbourhood and two-thirds of guests choose Airbnb as they believe the environmental footprint is smaller while the benefit to the local economy is higher.
And while Cape Town still remains popular, guest arrivals on Airbnb in cities such as Johannesburg, Durban, Pretoria and George are seeing encouraging growth, showcasing how guests using Airbnb are eager to discover new destinations.
In contrast to travel that is mass, corporate and less sustainable, Airbnb helps to ensure that locals – who keep up to 97% of the accommodation charge – directly benefit from tourism’s economic growth.
Since Airbnb’s founding, hosts across South Africa have earned over $260 million and, in the past year, the ripple effect of the activity of the Airbnb community resulted in an economic impact of $678 million, supporting over 22,000 jobs.
For many South Africans, hosting on Airbnb helps them to make ends meet and to stay in their home, especially given that half of them are freelancers, work part-time, or are stay-at-home parents.
The economic benefits generated via travel using the Airbnb platform are also better spread as more than half the guests’ spending occurs in the local neighbourhood where they stay, which is in many cases outside of tourist hotspots.
Airbnb’s community of home hosts in South Africa has grown to date to over 35,000 and the majority of them are women (65%). For many of them, being able to turn their greatest expense – their home – into a source of additional revenue is good news.
“Thanks to Experiences – a new feature on the Airbnb platform through which locals can share their interests, hobbies and passions with visitors – more South Africans can now participate in and contribute to local tourism, sharing their skills and favourite experiences with others, whilst making some extra money. South Africa now counts hundreds of Experiences across Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban, with many more communities to come,” Airbnb said.
The average earnings for someone who hosts Experiences in South Africa six times per month is $14,000 annually and almost one-third of the Experiences booked in South Africa are Social Impact Experiences of which all the proceeds go directly to a non-profit.