Airbnb has pledged $500,000 to support inclusive and sustainable tourism in Africa over the next two years. The pledge will help governments and tourism organisations identify new opportunities, support hosts and guests, empower entrepreneurs, and support investment in the tourism ecosystem.

The pledge was announced at the Africa Travel Summit and follows the launch of the Economic Impact Report, which shows that Airbnb contributed more than R23.5bn to the South African economy in 2022.

Build a more inclusive tourism economy

Velma Corcoran, regional lead of Middle East Africa at Airbnb, says: "This pledge is an important demonstration of Airbnb’s continued commitment to 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:

Investment in the tourism ecosystem

• Airbnb will support economic empowerment, digital access and sustainability in the region. Airbnb will also work with local stakeholders to identify organisations that should be considered for awards, with grants distributed by its community fund.

Identifying and unlocking 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.

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

Supporting hosts, guests and communities

• In partnership with destination marketing organisations, the company 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 its entrepreneurship academy to five new countries over the next two years.

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 that are interested in finding out how they can be included in this pledge can contact Airbnb.

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