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Airbnb is to invest $1 million in community-led tourism projects in Africa

Airbnb is to invest $1 million in community-led tourism projects in Africa, including Cape Town, through to 2020. Yesterday, the leading online home-sharing platform pioneered the first collaboration agreement between a government authority in Africa to encourage local communities to join a Homesharing Club made up of locals who open their homes to tourists.  The aim is to add yet another experience to Cape Town’s offerings as a unique travel destination.  The typical host in Cape Town earned an additional R43 400 by sharing their space for 32 nights per year.

Airbnb’s Chris Lehane, Global Head of Public Policy and Public Affairs has re-affirmed Airbnb’s dedication to uplift of communities most in need at the launch in Khayelitsha yesterday. Prior to Airbnb, Lehane was President Bill Clinton’s special assistant counsel, Vice President Al Gore’s press secretary and counsellor to Housing/Urban development secretary Andrew Cuomo.

This follows his previous announcement of Airbnb’s plan to inject more than R13m into projects promoting community-led tourism projects in Africa.  Africa has more than 100 000 homes listed on Airbnb that have welcomed more than 2 million all-time guest arrivals to the continent, generating a total economic impact of $247 million in South Africa last year alone. Over the past year, hosts on Airbnb in Cape Town welcomed close to 300 000 visitors, resulting in an estimated economic boost of R2.4 billion for the City.

Mayor Patricia de Lille said “The shared economy has the ability to welcome more Capetonians into the tourism sector in line with our efforts of building an inclusive city as we welcome more Airbnb guests.”
“I just see myself as being a part of the whole world. It’s opened up so many doors and I can already see I have such a bright future” says Maria, a host from Khayelitsha.

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