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Tuesday, October 17th, 2017, Airbnb at an even in Jo’burg South Africa tabled a report highlighting its social and economic impact on the local families and communities in Africa.

In the Airbnb report, there are now over 100,000 homes across Africa listed on Airbnb, and there have been over 2 million guest arrivals to these homes via Airbnb. Airbnb helps in truly explore the continent in ways hotels and tourist hotspots can never achieve. As the tourists get to learn and live like the locals and have first-hand (uncensored) experience of the continent.

The Economic Impact of Airbnb on Africa

The report says the average host in Africa earns about $1,500 annually after hosting an average of 18 nights per year. Collectively, the African continent earned $139 million by sharing their homes with tourists; the hosts keep 97% of the accommodation charges Airbnb charges tourists.

The average age of a host in Africa is 43-years-old; while the host community is evenly split between men and women. Airbnb reckons that home sharing not only healthy for the tourism industry as it is sustainable, and it helps Africans turn their homes into a source of income.

Airbnb puts the case for home sharing this way; home sharing is helping emerging economies receive more tourists in a way that is easily scalable and sustainable. The company goes further to say that since September 2012, over 2 million tourists have arrived in various destinations across Africa via their platform. A figure the company says is double the number of visitors recorded in 2011.

20% of the tourists using Airbnb are families, intercontinental travelers take up the biggest share, while African guests make up 29% of the incoming guests. In terms of countries, most of the visitors come from France, U.S., and U.K.

Not only do 97% of the charge on the visitors’ accommodation remain with the hosts, but the tourists also spend a significant amount of their adventure travel and souvenir purchases budget among other expenses in their immediate environment. That makes a direct cash inflow for the hosts and the communities around them.

Looking at South Africa as a Case Study

Airbnb says that in the past 12 months, South Africa has experienced cash inflow of roughly $250 million; from host accommodation and spending in and around the communities. South Africa also forms the biggest market for Airbnb guest arrivals; though other African countries are increasingly recording more tourists’ arrivals through the service.

Other African countries that are seeing increasing guests arriving under the Airbnb arrangement include; Morocco, Kenya, Tanzania, and Nigeria. These four countries have seen Airbnb visitors’ arrivals increase by at least 50% over the past 12 months. Nigeria by itself experienced 325% increase in the number of visitors.

Airbnb tabled this report at the Johannesburg City Hall in the company of Chris Lehane, the Airbnb Global Head of Public Policy and Public Affairs who was also joined by Herman Mashaba, the Mayor of Johannesburg.

Johannesburg is a city of inclusivity. As the new administration, our goal is to ensure equitable and sustainable growth, especially in our poorest communities. Any initiative that assists the City in accomplishing our goal is welcomed,” said Herman Mashaba, the Jo’burg Executive Mayor.

This African continent needs to create entrepreneurial mindsets in the whole population; this can only be done if we show people that they already have the tools needed to participate in the economy.”

Chris Lehane added: “As tourism in emerging destinations is increasing, our platform helps to ensure this growth is inclusive and community-led by benefiting regular people, communities and local businesses that have sometimes never seen tourism dollars before. Airbnb can be a major engine for economic empowerment throughout Africa. We look forward to working with communities across the continent to harness their innovative spirit and technology on our people-to-people platform to help spread tourism benefits across Africa.”

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