Airbnb has today announced a R2 million sponsorship with the University of Johannesburg School of Tourism and Hospitality (STH) to support and empower emerging tourism entrepreneurs from previously disadvantaged backgrounds who have not been able to pursue further studies due to financial constraints.
The sponsorship will initially support five first year students from 2024, covering study expenses, tuition fees, and the cost of on campus accommodation for the duration of a four year undergraduate degree (Honours included).
The sponsorship builds on Airbnb’s partnership with the University of Johannesburg to bring the Airbnb Entrepreneurship Academy to at least 1000 students over three years, and forms part of Airbnb’s 2021 three-year commitment to South Africa to address barriers to becoming a tourism entrepreneur and to help rebuild a more inclusive tourism economy.
“The next generation of tourism entrepreneurs can come from anywhere, but systemic barriers mean that many may never have the chance to get started. We remain committed to supporting and empowering South Africans from previously disadvantaged backgrounds to benefit from tourism, and to helping create a more inclusive and sustainable industry where anyone can succeed. Together with the University of Johannesburg, we hope the Airbnb Academy Scholarship can help and inspire young South Africans to pursue further studies in tourism and hospitality, and empower them to change the face of the tourism industry.”
Velma Corcoran, Regional Lead Middle East Africa at Airbnb.
“The School of Tourism & Hospitality is appreciative of the support from industry partners to grow the next generation of leaders and talent for the tourism sector. The scholarship will go a long way in assisting our students to complete their studies and we’re looking forward to working with Airbhb to achieve this.”
Prof Diane Abrahams, Director of School of Tourism & Hospitality at University of Johannesburg
Airbnb recently proposed a series of measures to help build a more inclusive tourism economy, and empower government and the private sector to work together to address important issues, such as systemic barriers to entry and inequality.
In a survey, half of Hosts across South Africa said the money they earn from hosting helps cover the rising cost of living, and over a third said the additional income helps them make ends meet. Airbnb recognises the historic challenges in South Africa and the need for a more inclusive economy, and will continue to invest in campaigns and programmes via the Airbnb Entrepreneurship Academy that build a more inclusive tourism economy in South Africa.
The Scholarship will be open to students registering in 2024. Applications will open in August, 2023. For more details, contact the School of Tourism & Hospitality Director’s office – Ms Adila Adams on firstname.lastname@example.org.