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Cape Town - Airbnb has always been powered by ordinary people who use what is typically their greatest expense – their homes – as a way to generate supplemental income.

This is especially true for a growing community of senior Airbnb hosts (aged 60 or more years old) in South Africa.

Airbnb data highlights the activity of senior hosts on the platform, which shows they are increasingly joining the Airbnb community and opening their homes to travellers from around the world.

Seniors account for more than 4 000 listings across South Africa, up from 1 400 at this time last year.

Airbnb is a trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodation around the world – online or from a mobile phone.

Seniors, especially those who have retired, are joining to earn income while doing something they love – meeting strangers from around the world and sharing the best of South African hospitality with them.

Listings from seniors grew 182 percent year-on-year to September 2016, outpacing every other age group by at least 10 percent. By contrast, the 50 to 59 year-old demographic grew 173 percent, the 40 to 49 year-old group by 169 percent and the 30 to 39 year-old demographic by 157 percent.

Not surprisingly, many of South Africa’s senior Airbnb hosts reside in popular coastal retirement destinations. There are 135 senior hosts in Hermanus, or 29 percent of the listings in the Western Cape seaside town.

South African hosts in their 40s and 50s get the highest percentage of five star reviews from guests. Seniors come in third.

Adapted from a press release for IOL