Africa Travel Summit: Accelerating inclusive tourism growth through technology

The Africa Travel Summit is an invite-only event and will take place in Cape Town between 11-13 September, 2018.  

The aim of the Summit is to bring together 150 innovators in tourism and tech to share, discuss and debate how technology can be used to accelerate inclusive and sustainable economic growth through tourism on the African continent.  

Over the course of the Summit, participants will:  

  • Share expertise and ideas on what tourism can do to empower more people in Africa
  • Hear from innovators who are helping democratise tourism in Africa
  • Learn about the Airbnb Africa Academy, Airbnb’s programme to connect underserved communities to tourism in South Africa through technology
  • Experience Cape Town like a local

Airbnb is organising the Summit as part of its $1M commitment to boost community-led tourism in Africa. The Summit is supported by our partners: The World Bank Group, The City of Cape Town, WesGro, The Africa Travel Association, and the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business.

In partnership with


Media Partner 

Official Water Sponsor 

Attending the Summit

As seating is limited, in order to attend the Summit, you must first submit an application by July 15, 2018. Airbnb will work with our partners to select attendees on a rolling basis. Selection will be based on number of seats available and the quality and relevance of the submitted applications. 


The event will kick off with a welcome reception on the evening of September 11th and will close by 17:30 on September 13th.


The opening reception will take place at Workshop 17 at the V&A Waterfront. Both programme days of the Summit will take place at Guga S’thebe in Langa.


Airbnb will provide transportation to and from the Summit venue from a central Cape Town location on September 12th and 13th. The Summit will not be able to support airfare and any other travel cost for attendees.


Airbnb is excited to bring together leaders and experts in the fields of entrepreneurship, travel & tourism, technology, civic leadership, business, international development, and policy to Cape Town. You can live like a local and book a lovely listing on Airbnb here.


Airbnb will publish a preliminary programme in August 2018. Below is a preview of key topics that will be covered during the Summit:

Tourism for All: A scene-setting discussion on the potential of innovation and technology to help tourism deliver economic empowerment in communities across Africa.

A New Generation of Entrepreneurs:  A debate on what is needed to develop the next generation of homegrown tourism entrepreneurs across Africa.

Build it and they will come: A discussion on how to build tourism products for a 21st century audience and how Africa can lead the way in putting real communities front and centre on the travel itinerary.

Resilient Tourism in times of Crisis: Cape Town, South Africa is facing its worst drought in over 100 years. Delve into an in-depth discussion on building sustainable, resilient tourism fueled by innovation and technology.  

Telling the Africa Story – The Role of the Media in Shaping Africa’s Narrative: A discussion with travel writers, bloggers and journalists on the role of media in getting people off the beaten track

Financing as an enabler for technology and tourism development: A discussion facilitated by the World Bank Group on what innovations in flexible financing can help more people and SMEs gain access financing for their innovations.

Government Powering Innovation: A panel on the sharing economy and the role of government in advancing innovation and technology that drives economic empowerment.

In Conversation With… Interactive dialogue with changemakers who are making an impact through technology and tourism on the ground across the African continent.

Learnings from the Airbnb Africa Academy A presentation sharing learnings from the Airbnb Africa Academy, a programme focused on empowering individuals and organisations in under-resourced communities by helping them share homes and communities with a global community.


Confirmed Speakers joining the Africa Travel Summit include:

Afua Osei, Co-founder, She Leads Africa

Aisha Pandor, Co-Founder, SweepSouth

Anita Mendiratta,  Global strategic advisor and five-time published author in Tourism & Economic Development

Cherae Robinson, CEO, Tastemakers Africa

Chris Lehane, Global Head of Public Policy and Communications, Airbnb

Codou Olivia, Co-founder, Dakar Lives

Daniel Adidwa, Founder & Chief Executive Officer,  Tour 2.0

Daniel Nyalusi, CEO,  Zanzibar International Film Festival

Innocent Mukheli, Founder, @Iseeadifferentyou

Jerry Mabena, CEO, Thebe Tourism

Joseck Luminzu Mudiri, Senior Operations Officer,  IFC

Hermione Neville, Senior Travel Specialist, The World Bank Group

Kamal Budhabhatti, CEO, Craft Silicon

Loserian Laizer, Co-Founder, Afrisource

Marlon Parker, CEO, R-Labs

Mich Atagana, Head of Communications and Public Affairs, South Africa, ‎Google

Naledi Khabo, Director, Africa Travel Association

Neku Atawodi-Edun, General Manager, MEST Lagos Incubator

Sebastian Molineus, Director, The World Bank Group

Sheryl Ozinsky, Co-founder, Oranjezicht City Farm

Sihle Tshabalala, Co-founder and CEO, Quirky 30

Stephan Ekbergh, CEO, Travelstart

Taiko Lemayian, Executive Director, KECOBAT

Velma Corcoran, Country Manager, Airbnb

Get inspired

At Airbnb, we believe that technology-enabled, people-to-people home sharing promotes healthy tourism—tourism that benefits the hosts who share their homes, the guests who are seeking authentic experiences, and the local residents whose cultures, customs and economies are respected, observed and supported. To expand engagement in healthy tourism, we are constantly searching for new ways to bring the benefits of our platform to more communities. Africa now counts 100,000 listings, and hosts on Airbnb have welcomed 1.2 million guests in the past year. Check out our community in action.


We are working alongside the City of Cape Town and the Official Tourism, Trade & Investment Promotion Agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape (Wesgro) to ensure our event is environmentally responsible and in line with best practice. Information on how to save water can be found here. We sincerely ask that you join us in our commitment to maintaining local and sustainable travel and we ask that you make every effort to use water sparingly.  If you are interested in supporting local water saving initiatives, you can visit here to find out more about how to offset your water consumption. Wesgro has also released FAQs that can be found here.

You may also contact us via email.


You may also contact us via email.