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Western Cape economy, communities benefit from R5bn Airbnb boost

According to new data released by Airbnb on the impact of the home sharing community across the Western Cape, the Airbnb community generated an estimated R5bn of economic activity in the region. The data, which looks at host earning and guest spending, shows the home sharing company has had a positive impact on the growth of guests and on local families, communities and businesses.

Image supplied by Airbnb

Other highlights


Airbnb continues to grow across the Western Cape: In 2017, almost 15,000 hosts across the region welcomed over 540,000 guest arrivals from around the world – a growth of 86% compared to 2016.

Hosting on Airbnb is boosting the local economy: The typical listing was shared for less than two days a month with the typical host earning around R34,400 ($2,600) a year. Hosts earned a total of R1bn, helping to boost local families' income. The typical guest spent around R1,715 per day in local communities and businesses.

Home sharing helps spread the benefits of tourism: Trending destinations outside of the typical tourist hot spots has seen the biggest guest growth over the last year, with a 213% increase in guests staying in Beaufort West and 208% in Ceres.

Locals are opting for staycations: Over a third of all visitors to the region were from South Africa – highlighting the increase in locals opting for a staycation to enjoy the cities on their doorstep. US visitors were second highest with 54,600 guest arrivals closely followed by Great Britain with 54,400 guest arrivals.

The release of this data forms part of Airbnb's Community Compact, a series of commitments with cities around the world, including regularly sharing data on the impacts of home sharing to help build an open and transparent community.

Velma Corcoran, Country Manager for South Africa, said: “Every time a guest visits South Africa using Airbnb, local families and their communities benefit. Last year saw a record number of guests visiting the Western Cape on Airbnb and we’re delighted to help spread the benefits of tourism beyond the typical tourist hot spots to lesser known towns and neighbourhoods. Whether it’s staying in Saldanha, Swellendam or Stellenbosch, hosts provide unforgettable experiences for guests to live like a local. We look forward to seeing guests discover more unique, diverse and welcoming communities across the region throughout the year.”
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