Airbnb signs Africa's first city agreement with Cape Town

2017-10-18 14:30 - Unathi Nkanjeni
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Cape Town  - The City of Cape Town and Airbnb has signed the first hospitality collaboration agreement, aimed to promote the "benefits of people-to-people tourism for Cape Town residents and their communities".

This is Airbnb's first collaboration with a city in Africa and according to Cape Town, it will promote the city across the world as a unique travel destination.

The agreement was signed on Thursday, 18 October, by the Executive Mayor Patricia de Lille and Airbnb Global Head of Public Policy and Public Affairs, Chris Lehane.

“The City of Cape Town is building an opportunity city that creates an enabling environment for inclusive economic growth and job creation," says De Lille. 

"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. Cape Town is a globally competitive destination and we are creating the space for all entrepreneurs to excel.”

SEE: Airbnb and Wesgro to harness share economy for Western Cape with new agreement

“People-to-people travel using Airbnb is bringing tourism benefits to local families and communities, and generates new revenue streams that stay right here in Cape Town,' says Lehane.

"I'm delighted to be working with Cape Town on this pioneering collaboration to help promote the best of this beautiful city and its people to the world. Airbnb has so far partnered with more than 300 governments across the world and while this is our first city collaboration in Africa, we want to work together with everyone to use technology to help spread more benefits across Africa.”

Aibnb income in Cape Town

Since 2008, hosts on Airbnb have welcomed over 200 million guests in 191 countries. In Cape Town, there are 17 600 active listings on Airbnb and hosts have earned a combined income of R762 million over the past 12 months, from September 2016 and September 2017.

In the past year, according to the City, hosts on Airbnb in Cape Town welcomed close to 290 000 visitors, which resulted in an estimated economic boost of R2,4 billion for the city. The typical host in Cape Town is said to earn an additional R43 400 by sharing their home for 32 nights per year.

SEE: Airbnb in Cape Town CBD flats illegal without city consent

'Boost the attractiveness of Cape Town'

As part of the collaboration agreement, Airbnb and the City will join forces to boost the attractiveness of Cape Town and enable Airbnb hosts to become ambassadors of the city while working together to bring community-led tourism to townships and support greater economic and social empowerment.

This collaboration will also celebrate Cape Town as an ‘Ideas Capital’ by hosting the Africa Travel Summit and bringing together 80 tourism and technology leaders from across the continent as well as exchange insights and learnings about travel trends and the sharing economy in order to leverage the technology and the Airbnb platform to boost local communities.

The City says that Airbnb has also committed to invest $1 million (about R13 million at R13.48/$) in community-led tourism projects in Africa, including Cape Town, over the next three years.

With this pilot programme - which supported training in hospitality and technology for residents from townships across the Western Cape -  the City says Airbnb will especially look at scaling it to reach more women and youth in underserved communities throughout Cape Town. 

Added to this, the City will also be invited to advise Airbnb on where to take the programme to ensure alignment with broader municipal priorities including the City’s Organisational Development and Transformation Plan which aims to leverage technology for progress, building integrated communities and enabling greater economic inclusion.

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