What better place than the Jozihub to host the launch of Airbnb’s Johannesburg Home Sharing Club? Given that the co-creation space is dedicated to initiating sustainable change in Africa, it was the perfect backdrop for local hosts on Airbnb to gather. Together with their friends, family and neighbours the third Home Sharing Club in South Africa was officially kicked off!
The evening was buzzing with the genuine warmth and vibrancy of the Johannesburg community. Hosts with diverse backgrounds, an openness to exchange knowledge and an eagerness to create belonging will no doubt further home sharing in Johannesburg and together help create a healthy and inclusive tourism sector in South Africa.
The attendees were welcomed by the local Airbnb team who went on to explain the cultural and economic benefits of home sharing. This was followed by an introduction to the mission and vision of the club by local leaders and some background on the digital support tools that are available on the Airbnb platform to support existing and future hosts.
When asked by a local organiser what value Airbnb has had for her, Gill, one of the home sharing club leaders shared her story:
“I come from the traditional hospitality industry but Airbnb has opened up so many more possibilities to improve the hosting experience and get more involved with guests and the community.”
During the evening in Johannesburg , Gill expressed to the attendees how the Home Sharing Club will be key in uniting hosts on Airbnb by providing them support and information setting them up to successfully use the platform. Additionally, she believes the club will grow to support local initiatives that impact the lives of those in previously under-resourced communities.
Velma Corcoran, Country Manager for Airbnb in South Africa, is hopeful that the Airbnb community in Johannesburg can meaningfully alter the perception of the city. Local hosts that show personal hospitality to their guests have the power to lastingly transform how Johannesburg is viewed by guests.
Even the catering played a part in empowering local communities: Roving Bantu Kitchen provided delicious food while beverages were bought from a local supplier that the Home Sharing Club members had known for many years. As the club continues to expand, hopefully more local gems like those will gain greater exposure with travellers, showcasing to them the unique aspects of Johannesburg’s vibrancy that might not yet be known to all.