Airbnb has announced the Africa Pledge, a renewed commitment and $500,000 fund to support inclusive and sustainable tourism growth across the continent.
Over the next two years, Airbnb said the pledge will 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.
The pledge follows an Economic Impact Report released last week that showed Airbnb contributed more than $1.2 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 said it will use the lessons and experience gained in South Africa to support inclusive and sustainable tourism in fast-growing African countries.
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, nonprofits and tourism organisations across Africa to make travel and hosting more accessible, safe, diverse, and affordable for everyone.”
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.
They have committed $500,000 to non-profit organizations across the continent, with a focus on bolstering economic empowerment, digital access, and sustainability. This financial backing is set to empower local organizations in their efforts to create a more economically inclusive and environmentally sustainable future in Africa.
Additionally, in 2024, Airbnb is set to publish an Inclusive Tourism Growth White Paper. This comprehensive document will provide valuable insights and policy recommendations to African nations, helping them identify and harness opportunities in the tourism sector that are both inclusive and sustainable.
Furthermore, the company said it is expanding the Airbnb Entrepreneurship Academy into five new countries in the next two years. Already active in South Africa and Kenya, the academy is a targeted entrepreneurship development program aimed at introducing individuals from underrepresented communities to the world of hosting on the Airbnb platform, fostering entrepreneurship with the support of local community partners.