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WATCH: Airbnb to invest $1m to boost tourism projects in Africa

Herman Mashaba and Chris Lehane. Image supplied.

Herman Mashaba and Chris Lehane. Image supplied.

Published Oct 18, 2017

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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.

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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

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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”.

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“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

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announcement at a press conference in Johannesburg City Hall together

with Mayor Herman Mashaba and Hermione Nevill, World Bank Group’ Senior Travel

Specialist.

WATCH: 

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

their communities.

“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

across Africa.”

- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE

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