Cape Town Loses Airbnb Africa Market Share As Other Destinations Gain Traction

Written by Peter Pedroncelli
Airbnb market share
There are more Airbnb properties in Cape Town than any other African city. Photo – HACT

Top tourist destination Cape Town is losing Airbnb Africa market share as property owners in other cities on the continent increase the number of vacation rentals listed on the app.

The mobile app-based hospitality booking site is gaining traction in other parts of Africa, with growth in property numbers across the continent accounting for Cape Town’s drop in market share, according to ITNewsAfrica.

The African continent has embraced Airbnb as a concept, and there are now around 100,000 properties available to users for booking across Africa.

South Africa was the first African country to join the Airbnb platform in 2010. It remains the most popular destination for guest arrivals on Airbnb, experiencing a 60 percent increase in inbound guests since a year ago.

Two years ago Cape Town accounted for one in every four African Airbnb properties, or 25 percent of properties on the continent. But Cape Town’s African market share has fallen to 17 percent, according to IOL. Cape Town remains the most popular city on the continent for Airbnb listings, with 17,000 properties listed.

Between September 2016 and September 2017, Cape Town saw 288,100 Airbnb guest arrivals, with hosts in the city earning an average of $3,443 per year from their property. Guests booked for 32 nights on average.


Cape Town Airbnb market share and African growth

More than a third of all 2017 Airbnb visitors to the Western Cape region were South Africans vacationing within  their own country. U.S. visitors were second highest with 54,600 guest arrivals closely followed by Great Britain with 54,400 guest arrivals, according to Businesstech.

Cape Town boasts the third-highest guest arrivals of any city in the southern hemisphere, behind only Sydney and Melbourne, Australia.

The fact that Cape Town is losing market share in Africa is a positive thing for Airbnb. It means that other territories on the continent are growing to compete with Cape Town.

Airbnb visits in Lagos, Nigeria, saw a 188 percent increase in 2017. El Gouna, Egypt had a 215 percent growth in guest arrivals in 2017. Accra, Ghana saw an increase of 169 percent, putting Cape Town under pressure as Africa’s leading Airbnb city, ITNewsAfrica reports.

In October 2017, Airbnb made a commitment to invest $1 million in community-led tourism projects across the African continent over the course of the next few years, according to ITWeb.

Airbnb is set to host an Africa Travel Summit in Cape Town this year — an indication of the company’s appreciation for Cape Town as the market leader on the continent. More than 80 thought leaders and other travel stakeholders from across the continent are expected to attend.