Airbnb & SA Ministry of Tourism sign MoU to support inclusive tourism

The Ministry of Tourism and Airbnb have announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to support the continued recovery of the tourism sector and build inclusive tourism in South Africa.

The agreement will see Airbnb and the Department of Tourism work closely together to advance services that are aimed at growing tourism in South Africa and creating more jobs in the sector:

  1. A national registration system for Short Term Rentals: A national database will be established for short term rentals in South Africa to provide transparency into the short-term rental market. Airbnb will share information on international best practice, the registration system thereof, and the policy regulations worldwide to help the Department of Tourism develop a position on short term rentals.
  2. The Airbnb Entrepreneurship Academy: Airbnb and the Ministry of Tourism will collaborate on the Airbnb Entrepreneurship Academy, a skills development programme focused on  spreading the benefits of tourism to historically disadvantaged individuals by lowering barriers to entry and providing economic empowerment.
  3. Tourism Insights through the City Portal: Airbnb will provide the Ministry of Tourism access to its City Portal, a tool which shares economic activity data and travel trends to help governments understand tourism flows in their communities.
  4. Collaboration at the Airbnb Africa Travel Summit: The Summit, taking place on 23/34 October,  will bring together influencers, innovators and changemakers to discuss how to utilise technology to drive a more inclusive and sustainable travel future in Africa.The Minister will present the official welcome note.

“We look forward to working together with the Department of Tourism to help build a more inclusive and sustainable tourism economy in South Africa. The Airbnb platform can help anyone, anywhere, to become a tourism entrepreneur, and we hope to continue to break down systemic barriers to entry and enable more South Africans to participate in the sector.

We welcome the opportunity to work with the Department to develop a clear proportionate national framework for the regulation of short term rentals is crucial and see huge power in public and private sector partnerships. We also know from our work with the Airbnb Entrepreneurship Academy, that together, we can make a tangible difference and enable more people, in more places, to benefit from tourism.”

Velma Corcoran, Regional Lead Middle East Africa at Airbnb

“This MoU seeks to grow the collaboration between government and the private sector as it is our collective responsibility to grow and enhance the tourism sector. As government, if we want to significantly grow tourism and its contribution to the economy and job creation, collaboration with the private sector is vital. We are delighted to be the first African Ministry of Tourism to sign a collaborative MoU with a successful global company such as Airbnb.

By leveraging Airbnb’s global reach and understanding of the market, this collaboration seeks to create a positive impact on local communities, travellers, and the tourism industry as a whole. The primary goal of this collaboration is to develop a relationship between the Ministry, its department and entity, and Airbnb, to harness and drive tourism domestically and internationally. As shared in the Department’s Green paper, insufficient information is available about the unregulated Short Term Rental subsector, and this hampers informed policy decision making. Access to the Airbnb data can only assist in informing better decisions.” 

Minister of Tourism, Patricia de Lille

By working together to promote responsible tourism, empower local communities, and enhance the tourism experience, this collaboration will help shape a more sustainable and culturally enriching travel landscape in South Africa.