Many South Africans turned to renting out their homes to local travellers in order to pay their bills, and millions of rands were earned in the process.
South Africa (20 February 2021) – The COVID-19 pandemic has sent travellers looking for safe, comfortable settings in which to connect with family and friends, creating economic opportunity for others to earn needed extra income by listing their homes on the Airbnb platform. In South Africa, new hosts with only one listing who have welcomed their first guests since the start of the pandemic have already earned more than US$3 million (almost R50 million). Globally, new hosts have earned more than US$1 billion.
Locally, new hosts in Cape Town have earned over US$850,000 (more than R12 million) since March 2020, while KwaDukuza (formerly Stanger), Johannesburg and Durban, as well as smaller areas such as Knysna, Overstand, Port Shepstone and Saldanha, also saw locals using the Airbnb platform to generate important additional income.
Half of all hosts worldwide tell us they use their Airbnb earnings to stay in their homes, with many using this income to pay rent, their bond and other important bills.
Globally, Airbnb estimates that 55 percent of new hosts are women, and these women have collectively earned more than half a billion US dollars hosting on Airbnb since the pandemic started. The figure is even higher in South Africa, where 62 percent of new hosts are women. This is important, as women have been hardest hit by job losses during the pandemic.
“Seeing women make up the majority of new hosts in South Africa comes as no surprise to us,” says Velma Corcoran, Airbnb Regional Lead, Middle East Africa. “It’s also great to see that people in smaller towns are turning to Airbnb to generate additional income, while also supporting economic recovery in their communities by spreading tourism and welcoming guests into lesser-visited areas.”
As our recent consumer polling tells us when the time is right, there is pent-up demand for travel as people yearn to get out of the house and connect after months of pandemic-caused isolation, and the type of meaningful travel enabled by Airbnb is the kind of travel people will continue to seek even after the pandemic ends.