The story of Airbnb in Africa is one of positive growth, especially in recent times, with visitors to the continent increasingly counting on the company for their accommodation needs.
The mobile app-based hospitality booking site allows people to make their homes or spare rooms available to visiting guests for a fee, and it continues to thrive and grow in Africa.
Established in 2008, Airbnb hosts have welcomed over 200 million guests in 191 countries since the early days of the company, with Cape Town in South Africa proving to be the most popular African destination for the Airbnb hosts and users.
Here are 10 things you didn’t know about Airbnb in Africa.
Airbnb’s success story in Africa is down to consistent growth, with especially impressive growth in user numbers over the past year. Hosts in Africa have welcomed 1.2 million guests to the continent in the past year, while earning a combined $139 million in host income, representing growth of 110 percent over the past year. This represents a fifth straight year of strong growth.
Hosts on Airbnb in South Africa have been welcoming guests into their homes since 2010, as the first African country to be included on the Airbnb platform. With 651,000 inbound guests in the country over the past year, the country has experienced growth of over 143 percent.
South Africa has 43,400 active listings on Airbnb, while the typical host earns $1,900 annually for an average of 19 nights. In the past year, hosts on Airbnb in Cape Town (the continent’s most popular city) welcomed close to 290,000 visitors.
After South Africa, Morocco is the second largest market, with 21,000 active listings earning $22 million in total. Kenya ranked third with 5,900 listings that earned $3.9 million for Airbnb hosts in the country.
The typical African host on Airbnb earns $1,500 annually for around 18 nights, while in Nigeria, a newer Airbnb market in Africa with 730 active listings, the typical host earns $1,000 for an average of 13 nights per year. But this market is growing incredibly quickly, boasting growth of 325 percent over the last year.
In October Airbnb has made a commitment to invest $1 million in community-led tourism projects across the African continent over the course of the next few years. The investment from the mobile app-based hospitality booking site will be used to enable a number of initiatives, including an expanded host-training program within South African townships, enabling hosts to use the Airbnb technology and training them in hospitality. The company is one of a number of tech giants investing in Africa.
Airbnb stats show that intracontinental travel accounts for 29 percent of Airbnb guests on the continent, which means that guests are from other African countries. France is the next greatest source of guests, with 13 percent of guests being French, while the U.S. represent 12 percent and the U.K. 10 percent of guests.
Of the 29 percent of guest arrivals that came from African countries, their most popular destination was South Africa, with 25 percent choosing to stay in the Rainbow Nation via the Airbnb platform.
Earlier this year Airbnb and the City of Cape Town signed the company’s first collaboration agreement with a city in Africa. Under the agreement, Airbnb and the City will work together to promote the benefits of people-to-people tourism for Cape Town residents and communities, while promoting Cape Town across the world as a unique travel destination.
The company aims to promote sustainable and inclusive tourism through technology, and with that in mind, Airbnb is set to host an Africa Travel Summit in Cape Town next year, with over 80 thought-leaders and other travel stakeholders from across the continent descending on the Mother City during the month of May.