This International Women’s Day, Airbnb revealed that all around the world women are benefiting from Airbnb, earning around $32 billion since the company’s founding.
In a statement, they stated that South Africa, female hosts make up 59.64% of the host community and earned a typical annual income of $2 039 (about R29 000) in 2018. Velma Corcoran, Country Manager for Airbnb South Africa said women hosts have outnumbered men hosts around the world.
"UN Women actually points to the sharing economy as one transformation that can be leveraged to have a positive impact on women. Our platform is powered by a growing worldwide community of female hosts who are connecting with guests, each other, and their local communities,” she said.
In the region, Airbnb has managed to support hosts, especially female hosts, through various initiatives. One of these is the Airbnb Africa Academy, which aims to provide support for a new generation of entrepreneurs.
By working with community-based and grassroots organisations, the Academy provides local hosts and co-hosts information and tools that they can use to create listings on Airbnb’s platform or creating a unique experience to further expand the role of local, healthy and inclusive opportunities in African tourism.
An example of a unique female-led experience is with Fayruza in Bo-Kaap. Fayruza opens her home for a Cape Malay cooking experience incorporating delicious food, history, culture, great company and a lot of laughs. Her Airbnb Experience is so popular that it has earned her over 100 five-star reviews on the platform.
“My Experience is about showcasing community and sharing food and culture in my bustling family home. People love that it’s about the food, but they also love that my family come and join us and help fold samosas and make curry. And for me, I feel like I’m travelling without leaving home,” she said.