Airbnb discloses R8.7 billion economic impact in SA in 2018

Posted on 30 July 2019

With the proposition of the new Tourism Amendment Bill, the home-sharing platform Airbnb has disclosed that it contributed nearly R10 billion ($685 million) to the South African economy last year.

An Airbnb in De Waterkant, Cape Town. Image: Airbnb

In an official statement Airbnb said, ‘It’s estimated that from 1 June 2017 through 31 May 2018, host and guest activity on Airbnb generated an estimated R8.7 billion in economic impact in South Africa. This economic impact corresponds to a total of over 22,000 jobs supported across the broader South African economy.

‘Our vision is to use technology to help spread the benefits of tourism, previously kept in the hands of a few, to the many. Africa is a prime example of Airbnb’s commitment to this vision.

‘The Airbnb community has grown rapidly across Africa—especially in South Africa—as guests from every corner of the world use the Airbnb platform to visit, stay with local hosts, and participate in promoting a new, healthier form of travel.’

The Bill is most likely going to be legislated under the Tourism Act in South Africa. If it is passed, the minister of tourism will be able to set certain rules that Airbnb SA will need to adhere to.

These will include limiting the number of nights a guest can stay in an Airbnb and how much income an Airbnb earns. Airbnb has openly supported the proposed Bill and is pro-fair-regulation.

Business Tech reported that Velma Corcoran, Airbnb country manager for Sub-Saharan Africa said, ‘Travel on Airbnb is helping to spread tourism benefits to more families, communities and local businesses. It’s never been easier to travel to and stay in South Africa’s smaller towns. Visitors are discovering local hospitality and hidden gems that they might otherwise have missed, while supporting new economies and revenue streams that help make local communities stronger.’

According to an Airbnb survey of more than 228,000 responses from the host and guest communities around the world:

– 84 percent of Airbnb hosts say they recommend restaurants and cafes to guests.
– 69 percent of Airbnb hosts say they recommend cultural activities such as museums, festivals, and historical sites to guests.
– 51 percent of Airbnb hosts say hosting has helped them afford their homes.
– On average, Airbnb guests say 42 percent of their spending occurs in the neighborhood where they stay.
– 50 percent of guests say they spent the money they saved by staying on Airbnb in the cities and neighborhoods they visited.
– 70 percent of guests say wanting to explore a specific neighborhood matters in their decision to use Airbnb.
– 86 percent of guests say the location being more convenient than hotels matters in their decision to use Airbnb.
– Guests who say Airbnb impacted the length of their stay on average added 4.3 days to their trip.



Image source: Airbnb 

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