JOHANNESBURG - The world’s largest accommodation provider Airbnb on Tuesday announced that it will invest $1-million through 2020 to promote and support
community-led tourism projects in Africa.
Chris Lehane, Airbnb Global
Head of Public Policy and Public Affairs said “Africa
is home some of the most welcoming communities and breathtaking landscapes on
earth. By leveraging technology to boost people-to-people tourism in Africa, we can help build a new economic engine for local
families and their communities, while helping more guests enjoy magical travel
experiences through the eyes of locals”.
“Airbnb travel is already
delivering significant economic benefits for Africa and today's investment will
help kickstart new benefits for more people across Africa. Lehane, made the
announcement at a press conference in Johannesburg City Hall together
with Mayor Herman Mashaba and Hermione Nevill, World Bank Group’ Senior Travel
It followed the presentation
of a study demonstrating how Airbnb hosts in Africa
have welcomed 1.2 million guests to the continent in the past year, while
earning a combined $139 million in host income. Lehane said that this
commitment was part of its vision to empower communities through home sharing
and to promote people-to-people tourism that benefits local families and
“This will help more locals
to turn their passions into economic opportunities and showcase the best
authentic experiences that guests might otherwise miss,” said Lehane.
He said that the investments
will be put to work in 2018 and will focus on empowering townships through
hosting, promoting sustainable and inclusive tourism through technology, and
supporting locals and nonprofits through Airbnb travel.
Meanwhile, Lehane also
released a study highlighting the economic and social benefits of travel using
Airbnb for local families and their communities.
The study shows that there
are now more than 100,000 homes listed on Airbnb in Africa and that there have
been more than two million all-time global guest arrivals using Airbnb, helping
spread tourism benefits beyond hotels and tourist hotspots to the places local
residents call home.
Johannesburg Mayor Herman
Mashaba said "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”.
Herman Mashaba and Chris Lehane. Image supplied. Mashaba said that the African continent needs to create entrepreneurial
mindsets in the whole population; this can only be done if they show people
that they already have the tools needed to participate in the economy.
white">Lehane added that 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