AirBnB has set a benchmark for tourism by organizing an international summit in Africa. In a bid to promote and spread the benefits of tourism in Africa, AirBnB in partnership with the South African tourism held its first African Travel Summit at Cape Town in South Africa. The summit which took place at Guga S’thebe Arts & Culture Centre in Langa started on Tuesday, 11th September and ended on Thursday, 13th September.
Over 200 innovators and technology leaders were present for the event. They discussed ways to develop tourism and empower many people in Africa. AirBnb’s new program, Airbnb Africa Academy, a program that uses technology to connect many communities to tourism was also learnt at the summit.
While discussing how the Airbnb Africa Academy will help underserved communities across Africa connect to tourism, Chris Lehane, Global Head of Public Policy and Public Affairs for Airbnb, says:
“Tourism has become a powerful people-driven economic force and when done right it also has the power to drive belonging through such people-to-people connections. With that power comes a massive responsibility. Tourism’s potential for inclusivity presents an opportunity to distribute the economics of a booming global industry more broadly, to communities and people who have not benefited from tourism before.
By hosting the Africa Travel Summit we will bring together the leading thinkers from what is an incredibly diverse continent so that we can listen, learn and apply those learnings. We want to discuss how we can learn from what is working so as to best leverage technology and innovation to empower more local families and their communities to benefit from the economics of African travel.”
At the summit, conversations on how to help AirBnB realize its visions of empowering communities through the sharing of homes, interaction between locals and tourists and also accelerating the growth of tourism through technology were discussed.
Aisha Pandor also said;
“If you as a community look to protect your culture and price your culture and value it, you can try and defend against dilution. We need to work together cohesively and as a community”
Over the years, tourism in Africa has been growing healthily, thanks to technology. Technology has enabled tourism in Africa become more healthier than before.
While addressing the importance of technology supply in tourism, International Advisor in Tourism and Development, Anita Mendiratta said
“If you want to make millions in a gold rush, sell pick and dynamite”
As tourism is growing and tourist destinations are increasing, AirBnB has been helping many communities which are not so open to tourism gain more recognition by ensuring beautiful accommodations that feel like home and are affordable to tourists are available.
Since 2008, more than 3.5 million people have arrived at the listing of AirBnB. Among the top 8 countries with the highest arrival at the listing are Nigeria, Mozambique and Ghana. What a surprise! Nigeria is one of the top growing destinations in Africa which saw 213% guest growth over the year.