DURBAN - Airbnb is empowering the growth of small business entrepreneurs which is important when tourism is being considered a major economic driver in South Africa
A report released by Airbnb in September last year found that the guest activity on the platform in South Africa had supported over 22 000 new jobs and generated an economic impact of $678 million over one year.
These are substantial numbers by anyone’s calculation, but perhaps the most important is the way in which the platform is driving both tourism as well as one of South Africa’s most important areas for economic growth. The rise of small business entrepreneurs, particularly in the face of increasing unemployment and volatile inflation rates, as locals pay ever more for everyday amenities.
"The impact of Airbnb is best measured on the ground. Hosts tell us that their ability to welcome guests into their homes or host Experiences on the Airbnb platform has made a huge difference in their lives. It’s also interesting to note that of the 35.000 hosts in South Africa that list their home on the Airbnb platform, the majority – 65 percent of them - are women," said Velma Corcoran,Country Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa at Airbnb.
One such host is Fayruza Abrahams, who made the tough decision to leave her high-powered and stressful corporate job when her health started to suffer from the thyroid condition Graves Disease. She required long-term medical treatment.. As a single parent to a young daughter, she turned to hosting Airbnb food and cooking experiences from her BoKaap home in Cape Town to bring in a much-needed income, and to give her small family a better quality of life than the corporate world could ever do.