Airbnb boosts South African economy by 2.4 billion ZAR in 2016

Today, we are highlighting new data about the Airbnb community in South Africa. It shows that Airbnb allows regular South Africans to share their home, while helping to grow and diversify the tourism industry across the country.

Here are some highlights from the report:

  • The Airbnb community generates new economic activity – The Airbnb community generated an estimated 2.4 billion ZAR in total economic activity in South Africa in 2016, which is the sum of guest spending and host income.
  • The Airbnb community helps grow and diversify tourism – Hosts on Airbnb in South Africa have welcomed close to 400,000 guest arrivals into their homes in 2016 alone. This has grown from 38,000 guest arrivals in 2014. 37 percent of guests in 2016 are South African, with a majority coming from Johannesburg.
  • Airbnb hosts are regular people – There are 16,000 hosts who have hosted last year in South Africa, spread across the entire country. The typical host on Airbnb in South Africa shares their home for 16 days a year and earns an additional 28,000 ZAR a year. The typical host is 45 years old and 40 percent of them are freelancers, entrepreneurs or self-employed. Half of the hosts in South Africa use the income from hosting on Airbnb to help afford to stay in their homes.
  • Guests choose Airbnb for an authentic and local travel experience – Guests on Airbnb in South Africa stay an average of 4.3 days per trip and over 30 percent of guests indicated they would not have come or stayed as long in South Africa without Airbnb. 85 percent of guests said they chose Airbnb ‘to live like a local’ and 79 percent chose Airbnb to explore a neighborhood.
  • Airbnb diversifies tourism in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban – Airbnb hosts in these cities have welcomed an estimated 240,000 guest arrivals, boosting their local economies with a combined 1.9 billion ZAR in 2016. Over 70 percent of guests visiting these cities indicated they chose Airbnb to explore a specific neighborhood and around 1 in 3 stated they would not have come or stayed as long without Airbnb. Travelling on Airbnb helps guests discover communities they might have missed and spreads benefits to more families and local businesses.

You can read the full report here.

Nicola D’Elia, General Manager for Africa and the Middle East at Airbnb said:

“Airbnb allows regular South Africans to enjoy the benefits of tourism and is opening new economic opportunities for local families and communities. We want to be good partners to everyone in South Africa and support the responsible and sustainable growth of innovative forms of travel.”

This report is based on Airbnb internal data between 1 January 2016 and 31 December 2016 and survey data and is part of our commitment to be good partners and share data with cities, regions and countries.