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Airbnb entices entrepreneurs in Mitchells Plain to share experiences and accommodation

Two weeks ago, RLabs hosted the Airbnb Entrepreneurship Academy in Westridge, Mitchells Plain. Picture: supplied/ RLabs

Two weeks ago, RLabs hosted the Airbnb Entrepreneurship Academy in Westridge, Mitchells Plain. Picture: supplied/ RLabs

Published Aug 3, 2022

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Cape Town - Reconstructed Living Labs (RLabs), a non-profit company, hosted an Airbnb Entrepreneurship Academy in Westridge, Mitchells Plain, as a boot camp to show local entrepreneurs and residents how they could become Airbnb hosts and share their unique experiences and skills with travellers from around the world.

The academy was an initiative by Airbnb to boost tourism entrepreneurship in under-served communities.

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During the boot camp, some participants were led in the way of offering up their homes as accommodation, and the rest in the way of crafting unique experiences in and around their communities.

RLabs chief executive Rene Parker said: “The aim of the boot camp was meant to show how simply an experience could be crafted, and how simply an underutilised space in an existing home could be leveraged as an additional income.”

Participants were showed some existing Cape Airbnb experiences such as a walking tour of the Bo-Kaap area, a Cape Malay cooking class and an art workshop in Khayelitsha.

They also completed the theory of crafting an experience or hosting a unique space, and were guided through setting up their Airbnb profiles and tourist offerings.

Two weeks ago, RLabs hosted the Airbnb Entrepreneurship Academy in Westridge, Mitchells Plain. The academy is an initiative by Airbnb to boost tourism entrepreneurship in under-served communities on the African continent. Picture: supplied/ RLabs

Dailen Jacobs from Lentegeur, one of the participants, said that this opportunity afforded him the chance to expand his business by sharing tips and tricks for improving street photography styles with travellers.

Chesnay Fortuin, from Heideveld, was impressed with how simply she could leverage her skill of creating henna art into an income. She launched her “Discover the beauty of Mehndi Art with a South African Local” experience.

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Airbnb Entrepreneurship Academy project manager Wilme Verwood-Witbooi said: “The academy gives a voice to people that are typically silenced otherwise, because of the barriers to enter tourism. People are not always able to tell their stories because they are not given a platform, that is the beauty of Airbnb – it gives these people a platform to tell their stories.”

Their Airbnb Entrepreneurship Academy also believes that anyone with a passion, perspective, or profession, and a pleasant personality, could offer an experience worth paying for.

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