Airbnb deal with Cape Town a first in Africa

Cape Town - Airbnb and the City of Cape Town signed the hospitality platform’s first collaboration agreement with a city in Africa on Wednesday.

Under the agreement, Airbnb and the City will work together to promote the benefits of people-to-people tourism for Cape Town residents and their communities, and promote Cape Town across the world as a unique travel destination.
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 R762m over the past 12 months.
In the past year, hosts on Airbnb in Cape Town welcomed close to 290 000 visitors, which resulted in an estimated economic boost of R2.4bn for the city. The typical host in Cape Town earns an additional R43 400 by sharing their home for 32 nights per year.
Airbnb will especially look to scale its pilot programme from earlier this year - which supported training in hospitality and technology for residents from townships across the Western Cape - to reach more women and youth in underserved communities throughout Cape Town.

The City will 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.
Airbnb has also committed to invest $1m (about R13m) in community-led tourism projects in Africa, including Cape Town, over the next three years.

Chris Lehane, global head of public policy and public affairs for Airbnb, said 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.

"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,” said Lehane.
According to Executive Mayor Patricia de Lille, the shared economy has the ability to welcome more Capetonians into the tourism sector in line with the City's efforts of building an inclusive city.

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