Airbnb invests half a million rand in ‘Jozibucks’ to support local
Airbnb has launched an innovative new host-led initiative, “Support Jozi, Shop Local”, in partnership with payment app SnapScan.
The initiative aims to drive traffic to smaller businesses to deliver a much-needed economic boost to local communities.
Using the SnapScan app, travellers can now buy goods and services in 20+ Jozi businesses chosen and recommended by local hosts on Airbnb.
People using SnapScan in these locations will also earn cashback vouchers called “Jozibucks" which can then be ”spent“ in the shops throughout March. The vouchers are funded by Airbnb.
The “Support Jozi Shop Local” initiative aims to encourage an inclusive recovery of the sector by providing a platform to showcase small local businesses and their products.
Featured Jozi businesses include coffee shops, eateries and hair salons, including The Bioscope and Salvation Cafe in Millpark, Home of the Bean in Jeppestown, Victoria Yards in Lorentzville and Wild Hair in Parkhurst.
Velma Corcoran, Middle East and Africa regional lead for Airbnb, said initiatives like this help drive local recovery in South Africa while providing an economic lifeline for local families, small businesses and communities.
“We know local businesses are struggling right now, so together with local hosts, we want to highlight them and give them the praise they deserve, and encourage everyone to support their community, and shop local," she said.
Chris Zeitsman, chief executive of SnapScan, said the Airbnb Support Jozi initiative not only shines a light on hard-working small business owners, but will generate an economic impact that directly supports recovery in local communities.
As part of the Support Jozi campaign, Airbnb has also released a map and guide, in partnership with South African Tourism, IAmJoburg, Curiocity and Gauteng Tourism Authority, which showcases a variety of small businesses.
A Jozibucks pin on the map and in-store shows locals and visitors where they can spend and save.
Chief executive of South Africa Tourism Sisa Ntshona said the initiative speaks to the work that South African Tourism has been championing for the inclusive recovery of the sector by helping small and medium enterprises recover from the pandemic.
"We are delighted to be working with Airbnb to encourage South Africans to support small businesses. Tourism is a vital instrument for the economic recovery of our country, to help our economy recover, and we applaud this project which aims to inspire locals and visitors to explore and spend locally," he said.
Dawn Robertson, chief executive of Constitution Hill and custodian of the IAmJoburg digital tourism platform, said the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been devastating for businesses.
"We are delighted to be partnering with Airbnb on an endeavour such as this that promotes the support of local businesses in our city to serve as a catalyst towards our efforts in reigniting the economy," she said.