Airbnb commits $500,000 to support inclusive and sustainable tourism growth across Africa


As part of the Africa Travel Summit in Johannesburg, Airbnb has launched the Africa Pledge, a renewed commitment and USD $500,000 fund to support inclusive and sustainable tourism growth across the continent

The pledge aims to help governments and tourism organisations across Africa to identify and unlock new tourism opportunities; support Hosts and guests, and their communities; empower the next generation of tourism entrepreneurs; and support investment in the tourism ecosystem.

Velma Corcoran, Regional Lead Middle East Africa at Airbnb, said, “This pledge is an important demonstration of Airbnb’s continued commitment for a truly sustainable, diverse and inclusive tourism industry – a travel economy for all. We believe in the power of public and private sector partnerships to support this important work, and we look forward to working together with governments, non profits and tourism organisations across Africa to make travel and hosting more accessible, safe, diverse, and affordable for everyone.”

The pledge follows an Economic Impact Report released last week that showed Airbnb contributed more than R23.5 billion to the South African economy in 2022 – supporting almost 50,000 jobs – more than doubling its contribution to the growth of inclusive tourism since 2019. Airbnb will use the lessons and experience gained in South Africa to support inclusive and sustainable tourism in fast-growing African countries.

The launch of the pledge builds on Airbnb’s ongoing commitment to inclusive tourism in South Africa, and its recent proposals for new rules that aim to help build a more inclusive tourism economy.

As part of the partnership,Airbnb will commit USD $500,000 to non profit organisations in Africa supporting economic empowerment, digital access and sustainability in the region. Airbnb will work with local stakeholders to identify organisations that should be considered for awards, with grants distributed by the Airbnb Community Fund.

The company will identify and unlock tourism opportunities .In 2024, Airbnb will publish an Inclusive Tourism Growth White Paper to support countries in Africa in identifying opportunities across tourism and policy that will drive inclusive and sustainable tourism across the continent.

The company will also provide access to the City Portal to an additional 10 African countries to deliver data, insights and tools to local authorities and tourism organisations. The City Portal is a first-of-its-kind resource for local governments and tourism organisations to better understand the Airbnb landscape in their communities and unlock tourism opportunities.

In partnership with destination marketing organisations, Airbnb will develop local Host and guest Guides to help Hosts to improve the visitor experience, and encourage guests to be good visitors.

Airbnb  seeks to empower the next generation of tourism entrepreneurs .The company will expand the Airbnb Entrepreneurship Academy to five new countries across the next two years. Already available in South Africa and Kenya, the Academy is an  entrepreneurship development program focused on introducing individuals from diverse and underrepresented communities to hosting on the Airbnb platform in coordination with local community partners.