Pubs and bars. Photo: Supplied

Johannesburg - Airbnb on Saturday launched "Experiences in Johannesburg" as well as the nationwide expansion of experiences in South Africa.

"Today [Saturday] Airbnb is announcing the launch of Experiences in Johannesburg with around 30 experiences already available on the platform as well as the nationwide expansion of experiences. Passionate entrepreneurs can submit unique experience ideas for their area as Airbnb is now open for host submissions from across all of South Africa, Airbnb country manager for South Africa Velma Corcoran said.

Experiences are activities or excursions led by passionate local hosts, highlighting their interests and perspective, as well as unique places many visitors might not otherwise get to experience. After the launch of Experiences in Cape Town in 2016, Johannesburg hosts "are excited to finally get the chance to show off their city while becoming part of the local economy". 

“The Experiences in Johannesburg show the vibrancy of the City of Gold. From urban farming to the real Soweto to some of the best nightlife spots, travellers can truly immerse themselves in one of Africa’s most energetic cities through experiences,” Corcoran said.

"The expansion of experiences across all of South Africa will help to boost tourism outside of city centres by attracting more people to rural and regional areas. Experiences help spread the benefits of hosting to those who do not have space in their house to rent out. This is also a fantastic way for visitors and locals to experience parts of South Africa that they would otherwise miss had it not been for these experiences led by passionate locals,” she said.

Urban farming. Photo: Supplied

Also on offer in Johannesburg were "social impact experiences" where 100 percent of the proceeds benefited the hosting organisation while Airbnb forgoes the usual fee. Training With Boxing Grannies is one of those available to be booked on the platform. Hosted by the A Team Foundation, the experience helped promote fitness and bodybuilding in underserved areas, and hosting an experience on Airbnb raised funds to renew training material and pay the fitness trainers.

Boxing grannies. Photo: Supplied

Organiser Claude Maphosa was thrilled at the prospect of showcasing his passion to travellers and locals alike. “Hosting a social impact experience is a great opportunity to raise funds for our NPO [non-profit organisation]. We are looking forward to meeting people from around the world and to encourage them to look after their seniors," he said.

Around 30 percent of experiences booked in South Africa were social impact experiences that supported different associations and non-governmental organisations (NGO).

Abstract art class. Photo: Supplied

Since launching in 2016, Experiences on Airbnb had gone from strength-to-strength both globally and locally, with over 13 000 experiences across 180 cities worldwide and a growth of 2500 percent in the past year.

"The Airbnb Experiences platform is not only great for showing visitors a unique take on a particular area, but can give individuals and businesses a new stream of revenue. Those interested in being an experience host anywhere in South Africa and sharing their talents with the world can submit their experience here []," Corcoran said.

African News Agency/ANA