Airbnb believes it has a R10bn impact on South Africa’s economy

airbnb logo south africa economy

Airbnb in 2018 believes it had a direct economic impact of nearly R10-billion in South Africa, the company revealed in a release on Monday.

South Africa ranked 22nd on a list of 30 countries in which the travel and accommodation firm had the largest impact, totalling $685-million, or about R9.7-billion. In this regard, South Africa ranks ahead of Argentina, Denmark, the Philippines, and the Czech Republic.

“Small businesses– many of which are located outside of the traditional tourist districts — also benefit from guests on Airbnb, many of whom spend the money they save on accommodations at local establishments,” the company claimed, highlighting that increases in host earnings year-over-year can be found in smaller South African towns.

Mossel Bay, for example, saw a year-on-year increase of over 80%, while Saldanha Bay in the Cape saw an increase of almost 60% over the same period,” it added.

“Host earnings in Garden Route towns such as Knysna, Plettenberg Bay and George increased by 48%, 58% and 74%, respectively.”

In 2018, Airbnb believed it had more than 35 000 guests in South Africa.

The company also tends to launch its new products in the country too. Recently, it added more than 50 Luxe listings located in Cape Town, catering for the super wealthy. In 2016, it also chose Cape Town in which to launch its Experiences programme, lumping accommodation with tourist-friendly activities.

Globally, Airbnb believes it had the biggest economic impact in the US, with a figure of $33.8-billion. France, Spain Italy and the UK followed in sequence.

In total, the company believes its global impact is over $100-billion in 2018, or around R1.4-trillion.

Feature image: Airbnb

Andy Walker, former editor


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