Rent up, Air BnB is in Khayelitsa

2017-10-26 06:00
Khayelitsha BnB owners welcome AirBnb executive Chris Lehane during the launch of the home sharing club, the company has been hailed for its efforts of boosting township tourism.

Khayelitsha BnB owners welcome AirBnb executive Chris Lehane during the launch of the home sharing club, the company has been hailed for its efforts of boosting township tourism.

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Africa’s first Air BnB Home Sharing Club was launched in Khayelitsha on last Wednesday.

AirBnb is a global online home-sharing platform where locals almost anywhere in the world open their homes for people to stay the night, week or even a month.

At the even at Isivivana Centre in Khayelitsha CBD, Bnb owners welcomed the company in song and dance while the company’s global head of policy, Chris Lehane won the crowd over with his focus on small business owners benefiting from tourism.

“It is important for us that everyone in the tourism industry must benefit because the truth is that people want to visit places like Khayelitsha and they want to stay there.

In the past financial year alone, we have had more than 1.2million visitors coming to Africa, using our platform.

That has generated an income of more R250 million. We want to create more opportunities for local Bnb owners,” he said.

Lehane relayed the story of how the company was founded by three roommates who didn’t have rent money and decided to rent space out of their flat for the weekend. They later developed a website offering this service and it has now grown into a $25 Billion business venture.

He said it was the home owners who where behind the company’s success.

“You are the ambassadors of our company and of your communities, thus our success depends on you,” he said.

He said that the company would offer support and that by 2018 he wants his company to have footprint in at least 15 townships in the country.

Sisa Ntshona, SA Tourism CEO, said he was happy to see Bnb owners benefiting from the revenue generated through travel.

“Tourism must impact everyone in the food chain. It has to be an inclusive journey where small business owners also make a good living,” he said.

Ntshona added that the club is bound to have a bigger impact than it has already had in the township.

“Tourists want to interact with people and you perfectly positioned to give them that.

We are very excited and I want you to know you have a friend in us,” he told home owners.

Khayelitsha BnB owner Maria Maile, said she was happy to share her home to the world.

“It is so great for me to be a part of this home sharing club. I just see myself as being a part of the whole world. It’s opened up so many doors and I can already see I have such a bright future.

I’m looking forward to seeing our new club grow, to welcoming new people and being able to help different communities.” She said.

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