Airbnb, the community-driven hospitality company, has revealed that the typical South African Airbnb host who occasionally shares space in their home boosts yearly income by more than R28 000.
In 2015 there were 7,500 active hosts in South Africa and almost half were freelancers, entrepreneurs, or self-employed, which is the same number that say welcoming guests helps them afford to stay in their home. 66 % of hosts share space in their primary residence.
The way people travel is changing, too, driven by a new experience led economy where people place greater value on experiences over ownership. More than 130,000 guests have stayed in a listing on Airbnb in South Africa in the last year alone, enjoying authentic and local travel experiences through their hosts’ personal hospitality and insider knowledge. This number represents a 250% increase in travellers on Airbnb compared to 2014. And hosts and guests on Airbnb are older than one might think with the average host being 44 years old and guests being 37 on average.
Airbnb empowers regular South Africans to use their homes as economic assets
● In South Africa in 2015, there were 7,500 active hosts sharing their home. In the last year, the typical host earned an extra R28 000 by sharing his home
● The average host is 44 years old and 36 percent are over 50
Airbnb increases consumer choice and helps grow and diversify travel across South Africa
● 134,000 guests used Airbnb to visit South Africa in the past year
● 99,000 South African residents used Airbnb for their travels
● The average host rating by guests is 4.7 out of 5
Airbnb hosts in Cape Town are providing guests with an authentic and affordable travel experience and boosting local economies
● 66 percent of hosts share space in their primary residence
● Airbnb guests stay an average of 6 nights
● More than 40 percent of guest spending takes place in the neighbourhood where they stay
● 58 percent of Airbnb guests visited local businesses based on host recommendations
● 50 percent of guests who saved money on Airbnb spent it on food, shopping and other amenities
Nicola D’Elia, General Manager for Africa and the Middle East at Airbnb highlights how Airbnb helps to spreads benefits to new communities and local businesses: “Airbnb is good news for everyone, providing an economic boost for thousands of South Africans, helping them make ends meet and support their families by hosting on Airbnb. 27% of visitors to Cape Town for example – Airbnb’s largest market in South Africa – tell us that they wouldn’t have come at all or stayed as long if it hadn’t been for Airbnb. Half of those guests spend more money in local shops and restaurants, often following their hosts’ recommendations. Even if it’s just for a night, staying with local hosts will allow visitors to really live there.”
Tim Harris, CEO at Wesgro, the tourism, trade and investment promotion agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape, agrees: “Cape Town and the Western Cape is a world class tourism destination. Thanks to Airbnb, more travelers can enjoy the natural beauty our country has to offer in an authentic way. It’s great to see that outside Cape Town, Knysna is the second most popular town with the Airbnb community. This shows how Airbnb hosts are helping to drive visitors across the province, allowing them to experience more of the Western Cape with their local hosts. ”
Data journalism takes top prize in revamped awards
The entries to the 2018 Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards were extraordinarily varied and of an excellent standard, with new categories introduced which are based on content as opposed to platforms. This year, the judges decided that two entries were equally worthy of the coveted Vodacom Journalist of the Year Award.
The first co-winning entry, in the new Data Journalism category, is a set of stories by Alastair Otter and Laura Grant of Media Hack which showed how Data Journalism is shaping the future. The second co-winning entrant is Bongani Fuzile of the Daily Dispatch for his articles in the investigative category on how migrant workers were being ripped off by pension deductions (full citations below).
Convenor of the judging panel Ryland Fisher says: “This year we modernised the 12 categories that journalists could enter their work in and the change was embraced by entrants. In a turbulent time for media, the 2018 entries once again proved that there are excellent South African journalists delivering praiseworthy work, and we commend them for finding new and innovative ways to cover the news.”
Takalani Netshitenzhe, Chief Officer for Corporate Affairs at the Vodacom Group, says: “Vodacom is proud of its 17-year association with these prestigious awards, which make an important contribution to our society through the recognition of journalistic excellence. I’d like to congratulate all of tonight’s winners and, as always, I’d like to pay tribute to our hardworking judges. Ryland Fisher, Mathatha Tsedu, Arthur Goldstuck, Collin Nxumalo, Elna Rossouw, Patricia McCracken, Megan Rusi, Mary Papayya, Albe Grobbelaar and Obed Zilwa: thank you for making these awards a continued success.”
Veteran journalist and media stalwart Ms Amina Frense is the winner of the 2018 Vodacom Journalist of the Year Lifetime Achiever Award. She has spent decades in mainstream media both locally and internationally. She is a former Managing Editor: News and Current Affairs at the SA Broadcasting Corporation. She has worked in many countries abroad as a producer and a foreign correspondent, has written two books and is also a founding member of SANEF where she still serves as a council member (full citation below).
The overall winners share the R100 000 main prize. National winners in the various categories are as follows, with each winner taking home R10 000:
The entries in this category were of an exceptionally high standard. One entrant stood out and became the unanimous winner. This journalist showed an exceptional skill for story-telling and for finding unexpected angles and unknown facts. For his stories about Musangwe’s fight for recognition, Age cheating in SA football, and Hansie Cronje revisited, the winner is Ronald Masinda, and the team of Gift Kganyago, Nceba Ntlanganiso and Charles Lombard from eSAT TV.
Cons exploit Telegram ICO
Kaspersky Lab researchers have uncovered dozens of highly convincing fake websites claiming to be investment sites for an initial coin offering (ICO) by the Telegram messaging service. Many of these websites appear to belong to the same group. In one case alone, tens of thousands of US dollars’ worth of cryptocurrency were stolen from victims believing they were investing in ‘Grams’, Telegram’s rumoured new currency. Telegram has not officially confirmed an ICO and has warned people about fraudulent investor sites.
In late 2017, stories started to circulate that the Telegram messaging service was launching an initial coin offering (ICO) to finance a blockchain platform based on its TON (Telegram Open Network) technology. Unverified technical documentation was posted online, but there appears to have been no confirmation from Telegram itself. The resulting confusion seems to have allowed fraudsters to capitalise on investor interest by creating fake sites and stealing vast sums of money.
Kaspersky Lab researchers have discovered dozens of such sites, possibly belonging to the same group, claiming to sell tokens for ‘Grams’ and inviting investors to pay with cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, lice litecoin, dash and Bitcoin dash. A record of transactions on one site revealed that the scammers were able to steal at least $35,000 US dollars’ worth of Ethereum from investors.
The researchers found that some of the websites were so convincing that even after Telegram and others began to issue warnings, they were still able to recruit potential investors. Most use a secure connection, require registration and generate a unique online wallet for each new victim, making it harder to track the money.
Judging by the content of the fake websites, it appears they may have common ownership. For example, several have the exactly the same ‘Our Team’ section.
“ICOs are a fairly risky investment and many people don’t yet fully understand how they work, so it is not surprising that high quality fake websites, with seemingly reassuring features such as a secure connection and registration are successful at luring people in. People wishing to invest in an ICO would do well to check with the company behind it and make sure they know exactly who they are giving their money to, or they may never see it again,” said Nadezhda Demidova, Lead Web-Content Analyst, Kaspersky Lab.
Kaspersky Lab offers the following advice for users considering investing in an ICO:
- Check for warning signs: for example, some of the fake Telegram ICO websites had the same wrong image next to the name of Telegram’s Chief Product Officer.
- Do your homework: always check with the brand’s official site to verify the legitimacy of the investment site and, if necessary contact the company’s ICO teams before investing any money or currency.
- Use reliable security solutions such as Kaspersky Internet Security and Kaspersky Internet Security for Android, which will warn you if you try to visit fake internet pages.