Cape Town - If you're looking for the friendliest accommodation experience in SA, this is as close as you'll get to a guarantee... Guesthouses, B&Bs and hotels have been shunned in the past for rude and discriminating behaviour, but accommodation sharing platform Airbnb hopes to perpetuate a friendlier and non-discriminative environment globally, by using user reviews as part of their booking experiences.
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To illustrate their strive to an overall friendly experience for both guests and hosts, Airbnb has released their annual hospitality index, listing the regions in which hosts provide the most outstanding hospitality according to the 5-star reviews received from guests after their stay.
In South Africa, nine out of the top ten regions were in the Western Cape - an unsurprising result considering Cape Town has the 21st biggest Airbnb market in the world, according to 2016 stats.
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Airbnb also revealed last year that Cape Town was the most wish-listed destination in SA for guests, receiving a record breaking 15 212 little red hearts from the community.
SEE: 3 Interesting things about SA's 10 most wish-listed Airbnb stays
Although Cape Town wins for quantity, the Cape Winelands came out tops for best reviews and friendliness, Airbnb's studies found.
Stellenbosch leads the way with 79% of reviewed trips getting a five-star rating, sharing its glory with the neighbouring town of Paarl. The only non-Western Cape City to crack the top ten, was the City of Gold, Johannesburg.
The most popular destinations, along with their % of 5 star reviews, are -
Stellenbosch - 79%
Paarl - 79%
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George - 78%
Cape Town - 78%
Johannesburg - 78%
Plettenberg Bay - 78%
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Swellendam - 76%
Knysna - 76%
Hermanus - 75%
Grabouw - 75%
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Jeffrey’s Bay - 74%
Port Elizabeth - 74%
Pretoria - 74%
Mossel Bay - 73%
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Berea - 72%
East London - 71%
Ballitoville - 70%
Durban - 70%
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Oudtshoorn - 70%
Bredasdorp - 69%
Saldanha - 69%
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For the index, Airbnb looks at the percentage of trips (not reviews, which would be biased by review rates) where guests give 5-star scores for all of the Airbnb reviews criteria, namely, cleanliness, check-in, communication, value? and accuracy.
Sifting through reviews of listings seems to suggest that guests view communication from hosts as a top priority. In other words, guests appreciate when their hosts notify them of things such as whether or not there’s a pet on the property of if they’ll be using a shared bathroom.
While other values such as cleanliness are obviously prized, it is of little value if guests don’t know the details necessary for a comfortable stay.
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