Airbnb to focus on expanding in South Africa

airbnb south africa
Airbnb CEO, Brian Chesky. (Image Credit: Darryl Linington).
airbnb south africa
Airbnb CEO, Brian Chesky. (Image Credit: Darryl Linington).

Airbnb CEO, Brian Chesky visited Johannesburg, South Africa this week. According to Chesky, the reason behind the visit was to launch Airbnb’s platform in South Africa.

Chesky added that the company also plans to accelerate its growth in the country as it is its largest market on the continent.

Airbnb is an online marketplace that allows travelers to connect with people who have spare space in their homes to rent to travelers. According to Chesky this will allow the home to make a profit from their property as well as allow travelers cheaper rates as well as  experience a destination like
a local.

At the launch Chesky stated that: “South Africa is an incredibly beautiful and diverse country, with so much to offer visitors. South Africa has a vibrant and welcoming community, and we look forward to expanding so that even more visitors can benefit from the unique and local experiences that the country and our hosts, using Airbnb’s platform can provide.”

Chesky announced that Airbnb had named Nicola D’Elia as General Manager for the region.
Previously, Nicola was responsible for Facebook’s growth and partnerships in Europe, the
Middle East, and Africa. D’Elia will build out a team to accelerate Airbnb’s growth in Africa and
the Middle East.

According to Chesky, the following notable statistics reflecting Airbnb’s growth in the country over the last 12 months include:

– South Africa is currently the largest market for Airbnb in Africa with 9,400 homes listed,
an increase of 138%.

– South Africa is becoming an increasingly popular global destination, with the number of people staying in places booked through Airbnb in South Africa increasing by a staggering 257%.

– South Africans are embracing the service as well, with those using Airbnb to travel
increasing by 163%.

– While most South Africans that have used Airbnb have traveled within the country, the
most popular international destinations include the US, Italy, France and the UK.

– Across Africa, two of the five largest markets for Airbnb are in South Africa including
Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Prior to traveling to Johannesburg, Chesky attended the Global Entrepreneurial Summit
(GES 2015) in Nairobi alongside US President, Barack Obama. As a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship (PAGE), Chesky is one of a number of US business leaders committed to helping to develop the next generation of entrepreneurs around the world. At GES 2015, he met with entrepreneurs from around the world and explored the sharing economy’s impact and expansion throughout Africa.

Darryl Linington