If you are in Johannesburg this weekend, you should head to Airbnb’s exhibition titled “Faces of Tourism” at the Constitution Hill until November 3.
The exhibition features portraits, sound recordings and quotes from twelve South Africans that use the Airbnb platform to participate in the tourism economy, highlighting that entrepreneurship and empowerment can occur in seemingly unlikely places.
Photographer Thom Pierce travelled across South Africa to take photos of hosts that use the Airbnb platform in places like Soweto, Kayamandi and Khayelitsha as well as in more far-flung areas such as Kassiesbaai, which is not close to a city centre or the usual tourist hotspots.
The exhibition tells a powerful story of the great potential for South Africa to reach its ambitious tourism goal of 21 million tourist arrivals by 2030 as set by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his State of the Nation Address earlier this year.
Pierce said it was fascinating to travel around the country and meet people who were excited about their venture.