Online accommodation platform Airbnb has reaffirmed its commitment to Africa’s tourism industry by establishing a $500,000 fund.
The fund aims to support non-profit organizations that promote economic empowerment, digital access, and sustainability.
Velma Corcoran, Regional Lead of Middle East, Africa at Airbnb, stated, “Africa is home to some of the world’s most unique, culturally rich, and diverse destinations and homes.”
“We aim to be part of solutions that enable more African families and communities to attract guests from around the globe and showcase more of what Africa has to offer.”
This fund is part of a pledge that includes supporting hosts, guests, and communities, empowering the next generation of tourism entrepreneurs, and identifying and unlocking tourism opportunities.
“This pledge is an important demonstration of Airbnb’s continued commitment for a truly sustainable, diverse, and inclusive tourism industry—a travel economy for all,” Velma said.
Airbnb announced that it will collaborate with partners to produce an Inclusive Tourism Growth White Paper in 2024.
This paper aims to assist African countries in identifying immediate opportunities and policy solutions to stimulate inclusive and sustainable tourism across the continent.
Over the next year, Airbnb plans to expand its City Portal rollout to at least 10 additional countries in Africa.
This will provide aggregate data on Airbnb activity in these countries, aiding in destination marketing and planning.
Corcoran added that they plan to apply the lessons and experiences gained to further support inclusive and sustainable tourism in rapidly growing African countries such as Kenya, Morocco, Ghana, Mauritius, and Egypt.
This pledge follows an Economic Impact Report released last week showing that Airbnb contributed more than R23.5 billion to the South African economy in 2022, supporting almost 50,000 jobs.
This has more than doubled its contribution to the growth of inclusive tourism since 2019.
The lessons and experiences gained in South Africa will be used by Airbnb to support inclusive and sustainable tourism in other fast-growing African countries.