South African Airbnb hosts have earned over R4 billion since the platform was founded in 2008 and potential local hosts can ready themselves to continue to share in the spoils.
Weekend reports in rags such as the Sunday Times quote findings released during Airbnb’s Africa Travel Summit. It says a report based on data compiled by Genesis Analytics found that Airbnb has had a significant positive impact on South Africa’s economy, especially in popular tourist destinations such as Cape Town.
MyBroadband.co.za reports that between June last year and May this year Airbnb generated around R8.7 billion in economic impact in South Africa. Hosts cashed in on around R4 billion.
“Hosts across the country are using their extra income from hosting to make ends meet and otherwise afford to stay in their homes,” the report said.
By April of this year the holiday accommodation platform already announced that it’s online marketplace generated an estimated R5 billion in overall economic impact it the Western Cape alone. Airbnb conducted a data analyses on the impact of the home sharing community in the Western Cape, which takes into account host earnings as well as guest spending while on holiday.
In 2017 alone, 15,000 hosts welcomed over 540,000 guests from all around the world. This is a 86% growth from 2016. In addition, Airbnb provides an extra income for individuals. On average, a single host earns around R34,000 per annum.
Yet, Airbnb has experienced significant opposition from the traditional tourist industry in many countries, including South Africa.
The Tourism Business Council of South Africa has repeatedly called for the service to be regulated, but the platform is still operating freely – for now.
Despite this, SA Tourism partnered with Airbnb for the Africa Travel Summit, and said that collaboration with the international giant was a smart move. “It would definitely be to our disadvantage if we [didn’t] play or collaborate with the world’s largest accommodation platform,” SA Tourism CEO Sisa Ntshona is being quoted by MyBroadband.
Ntshona added that Airbnb should compete with traditional organisations within the same standardised and competitive arena, with hosts being subject to commercial rates and taxes and employees classified correctly under industry regulations.
Airbnb said it supports over 22,000 jobs across South Africa, and the popularity of the platform is growing quickly each year compared to traditional tourism sectors such as the hotel industry.
The company is readying for an initial public offering next year, and recently requested permission for the ability to grant hosts equity in the company.
Granting participants in the “gig economy” equity in a business from an earlier stage will further align incentives between such companies and their partners.