South Africa: Airbnb launches a $500k fund to support tourism growth in Africa

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Airbnb on Tuesday announced a USD $500,000 fund to support inclusive and sustainable tourism growth in Africa. The company made this announcement at the Africa Travel Summit in Johannesburg.

Through this Africa Pledge fund, Airbnb will over the next two years 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.

“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.” Velma Corcoran, Regional Lead Middle East Africa at Airbnb, said.

”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,” Velma added.

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 fund will be offered to non-profit organisations in Africa supporting economic empowerment, digital access and sustainability in the region.

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.

Airbnb says will work with local stakeholders to identify organisations that should be considered for awards, with grants distributed by the Airbnb Community Fund.

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