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Airbnb injected $685m into SA economy in 2018

Airbnb estimated direct economic impact exceeds $100-billion in one year globally, with South Africa ranked 22nd among its top 30 countries



Airbnb has revealed that the estimated direct economic impact of Airbnb in South Africa was more than $685-million in 2018.  

According to new survey findings and its own analysis of internal data released recently, Airbnb’s host and guest community generated over $100-billion in estimated direct economic impact across 30 countries in 2018 alone. 

Since Airbnb was founded, the organisation says, hosts have earned over $65-billion, which many use to pay the bills and pursue their passions. Small businesses – many of which are located outside of the traditional tourist districts – also benefit from guests on Airbnb, many of whom spend the money they save on accommodations at local establishments.  

“Travel on Airbnb is helping to spread tourism benefits to more families, communities and local businesses,” says Velma Corcoran, Airbnb country manager for Sub-Saharan Africa. “It’s never been easier to travel to and stay in South Africa’s smaller towns. Visitors are discovering local hospitality and hidden gems that they might otherwise have missed, while supporting new economies and revenue streams that help make local communities stronger.” 

Airbnb says there has been a significant increase in host earnings in smaller towns. Mossel Bay, for example, saw a year-on-year increase of over 80%, while Saldanha Bay saw an increase of almost 60% over the same period. Host earnings in Garden Route towns such as Knysna, Plettenberg Bay and George increased by 48%, 58% and 74%, respectively.  

On a global level, this growth has come as Airbnb helps spread the benefits of tourism to some of the least visited destinations in the world. Between 2016 and 2018, guest arrivals of travellers on the Airbnb platform increased substantially in places like Moldova (190%), Vanuatu (187%) and New Caledonia (175%).  

The Airbnb survey of more than 228,000 responses from its host and guest community around the world showed the following: 

● 84 percent of hosts on Airbnb say they recommend restaurants and cafes to guests. 

● 69 percent of hosts on Airbnb say they recommend cultural activities such as museums, festivals, and historical sites to guests. 

● 51 percent of hosts on Airbnb say hosting has helped them afford their homes. 

● On average, guests on Airbnb say 42 percent of their spending occurs in the neighbourhood where they stay. 

● 50 percent of guests say they spent the money they saved by staying in a home on Airbnb in the cities and neighbourhoods they visited. 

● 70 percent of guests say wanting to explore a specific neighbourhood matters in their decision to use Airbnb. 

● 86 percent of guests say the location being more convenient than hotels matters in their decision to use Airbnb. 

● Guests who say Airbnb impacted the length of their stay on average added 4.3 days to their trip. 

Airbnb Direct Economic Impact in 2018 (30 countries) in US$, based on Host Income and Estimated Guest Spending during trip:

1. USA: 33.8 billion 

2. France: 10.8 billion

3. Spain: 6.9 billion 

4. Italy: 6.4 billion 

5. UK: 5.6 billion 

6. Australia: 4.4 billion 

7. Canada 4.3 billion 

8. Japan: 3.5 billion 

9. Mexico: 2.7 billion 

10.Portugal: 2.3 billion 

11.Germany: 2.3 billion 

12.China: 2.3 billion 

13. Brazil 2.1 billion 

14. Greece: 1.4 billion 

15. Netherlands: 1.3 billion 

16.Korea: 1.2 billion 

17.Thailand: 1.1 billion 

18.New Zealand: 912 million 

19.Croatia: 910 million 

20.Ireland: 832 million 

21.Malaysia: 734 million 

22.South Africa: 685 million 

23.Argentina: 664 million 

24.Denmark: 654 million 

25.Switzerland: 651 million 

26.Austria: 625 million 

27.Indonesia: 593 million  

28.Philippines: 586 million  

29.Colombia: 560 million  

30.Czech Republic: 555 million 

*2018 estimated direct economic impact is the sum of Homes host earnings and estimated guest spending. Host earnings is based on internal Airbnb data. Estimated guest spending is based on nearly 12,000 responses to a voluntary survey sent to a sample of guests on Airbnb accounts that had taken a trip to those countries in 2018. No payment or other incentive was provided in exchange for completing the survey. 


Millennials turning 40: NOW will you stop targeting them?

It’s one of the most overused terms in youth marketing, and probably the most inaccurate, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK



One of the most irritating buzzwords embraced by marketers in recent years is the term “millennial”. Most are clueless about its true meaning, and use it as a supposedly cool synonym for “young adults”. The flaw in this targeting – and the word “flaw” here is like calling the Grand Canyon a trench – is that it utterly ignores the meaning of the term. “Millennials” are formally defined as anyone born from 1980 to 2000, meaning they have typically come of age after the dawn of the millennium, or during the 21st century.

Think about that for a moment. Next year, the millennial will be formally defined as anyone aged from 20 to 40. So here you have an entire advertising, marketing and public relations industry hanging onto a cool definition, while in effect arguing that 40-year-olds are youths who want the same thing as newly-minted university graduates or job entrants.

When the communications industry discovers just how embarrassing its glib use of the term really is, it will no doubt pivot – millennial-speak for “changing your business model when it proves to be a disaster, but you still appear to be cool” – to the next big thing in generational theory.

That next big thing is currently Generation Z, or people born after the turn of the century. It’s very convenient to lump them all together and claim they have a different set of values and expectations to those who went before. Allegedly, they are engaged in a quest for experience, compared to millennials – the 19-year-olds and 39-olds alike – supposedly all on a quest for relevance.

In reality, all are part of Generation #, latching onto the latest hashtag trend that sweeps social media, desperate to go viral if they are producers of social content, desperate to have caught onto the trend before their peers.

The irony is that marketers’ quest for cutting edge target markets is, in reality, a hangover from the days when there was no such thing as generational theory, and marketing was all about clearly defined target markets. In the era of big data and mass personalization, that idea seems rather quaint.

Indeed, according to Grant Lapping, managing director of DataCore Media, it no longer matters who brands think their target market is.

“The reason for this is simple: with the technology and data digital marketers have access to today, we no longer need to limit our potential target audience to a set of personas or segments derived through customer research. While this type of customer segmentation was – and remains – important for engagements across traditional above-the-line engagements in mass media, digital marketing gives us the tools we need to target customers on a far more granular and personalised level.

“Where customer research gives us an indication of who the audience is, data can tell us exactly what they want and how they may behave.”

Netflix, he points out, is an example of a company that is changing its industry by avoiding audience segmentation, once the holy grail of entertainment.

In other words, it understands that 20-year-olds and 40-year-olds are very different – but so is everyone in between.

* Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Follow him on Twitter and Instagram on @art2gee

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Robots coming to IFA



Robotics is no longer about mechanical humanoids, but rather becoming an interface between man and machine. That is a key message being delivered at next month’s IFA consumer electronics expo in Berlin. An entire hall will be devoted to IFA Next, which will not only offer a look into the future, but also show what form it will take.

The concepts are as varied as the exhibitors themselves. However, there are similarities in the various products, some more human than others, in the fascinating ways in which they establish a link between fun, learning and programming. In many cases, they are aimed at children and young people.

The following will be among the exhibitors making Hall 26 a must-visit:

Leju Robotics (Stand 115) from China is featuring what we all imagine a robot to be. The bipedal Aelos 1s can walk, dance and play football. And in carrying out all these actions it responds to spoken commands. But it also challenges young researchers to apply their creativity in programming it and teaching it new actions. And conversely, it also imparts scholastic knowledge.

Cubroid (Stand 231, KIRIA) from Korea starts off by promoting an independent approach to the way it deals with tasks. Multi-functional cubes, glowing as they play music, or equipped with a tiny rotating motor, join together like Lego pieces. Configuration and programming are thus combined, providing a basic idea of what constitutes artificial intelligence.

Spain is represented by Ebotics (Stand 218). This company is presenting an entire portfolio of building components, including the “Mint” educational program. The modular system explains about modern construction, programming and the entire field of robotics.

Elematec Corporation (Stand 208) from Japan is presenting the two-armed SCARA, which is not intended to deal with any tasks, but in particular to assist people with their work.

Everybot (Stand 231, KIRIA) from Japan approaches the concept of robotics by introducing an autonomous floor-cleaning machine, similar to a robot vacuum cleaner.

And Segway (Stand 222) is using a number of products to explain the modern approach to battery-powered locomotion.

IFA will take place at the Berlin Exhibition Grounds (ExpoCenter City) from 6 to 11 September 2019. For more information, visit

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