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Airbnb Launches Africa Pledge to Foster Inclusive and Sustainable Tourism Growth

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Airbnb Launches Africa Pledge to Foster Inclusive and Sustainable Tourism Growth

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

Over the next two years, the pledge will help governments and tourism organisations across Africa identify and unlock new tourism opportunities; support hosts, guests and their communities; empower the next generation of tourism entrepreneurs; and support investment in the tourism ecosystem.

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 pledge launch 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.

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”.

Through the Africa Pledge, Airbnb will help countries across Africa with the commitment of US$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.

In 2024, Airbnb will publish an Inclusive Tourism Growth white paper to support African countries in identifying opportunities across tourism, and policy that will drive inclusive and sustainable tourism across the continent.

Airbnb will provide access to the City Portal for 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 improve the visitor experience and encourage guests to be good visitors.

Empowering the next generation of tourism entrepreneurs

Airbnb 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 programme focused on introducing individuals from diverse and underrepresented communities to hosting on the Airbnb platform in coordination with local community partners.

Governments, destination marketing organisations and non-profit organisations interested in finding out how they can be included in this pledge can contact Airbnb directly via africa-pledge@airbnb.com

On 24 October, more than 200 policymakers, tourism experts, innovators and changemakers from across the continent gathered in Johannesburg to explore, innovate and collaborate on building an inclusive and sustainable tourism industry across Africa.

The Summit, hosted by Airbnb, is the second of its kind. Panel discussions were interspersed with fireside chats and changemaker sessions on topics such as: The future of travel in Africa; Using public-private partnerships to create inclusive economic opportunities; and public-private partnerships to bridge the digital divide, among others.

Moderated by Afua Osei, co-founder of She Leads Africa, over 20 speakers and panellists participated in dynamic discussions – including Melvyn Lubega from Go1; Bheki Dube from Curiocity; Phakamile Hlazo from Zulu Nomad; and Abongile Mashele from Google.

Source: Thebftonline

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