Airbnb rentals boom across Africa

18 October 2017 - 09:36
By AFP Relaxnews
Airbnb offers accommodations in 191 countries.
Image: MARTIN BUREAU / AFP Airbnb offers accommodations in 191 countries.

Rent-a-room giant Airbnb has announced that it had provided accommodation for 1.2 million visitors to Africa over the last year - double the previous year as tourism expands across the continent.

The website now offers more than 100,000 accommodation options in Africa, global public affairs director Chris Lehane said on a visit to Johannesburg.

"It's an incredibly rich and diverse continent, an incredibly dynamic place, certainly a big part of our future," Lehane told AFP.

Airbnb was founded in 2008 and offers accommodation ranging from single bedrooms to whole homes in 65,000 cities in 191 countries.

The company announced Tuesday that it would invest $1-million (about R13.4-million) in Africa by 2020 to "promote and support community-led tourism projects".

"For many Africans, being able to turn their greatest expense - their home - into a source of additional revenue is good news," Lehane said.

"People create new economic opportunities for themselves."

Across the continent, South Africa is the most popular country for Airbnb rentals, followed by Morocco.