Feeling the pinch of higher interest rates, that winter electricity bill, and the rising cost of filling up your vehicle? You’re not alone! While the cost of living gets more expensive, many South Africans are looking to side businesses to make ends meet. Many are making money with Airbnb.
In May, local business news website BusinessTech, conducted a poll that showed that nearly a quarter of the 3 843 respondents said they had a side-hustle to generate an extra income. Now reports show that numerous South Africans have turned to Airbnb to create extra cash flow to ensure they can get by each month. It’s becoming an increasingly popular option with real benefits!
The Airbnb world
Airbnb is an online marketplace that connects property owners renting out their spaces with travellers searching for accommodation. It’s an ‘air bed and breakfast’! Of course, it has its own app but a simple desktop browser option is available too.
The accommodation on Airbnb ranges from fully equipped, entire homes and apartments to spare rooms and even a few more interesting offers. Like a tiny house in a forest or converted caravans. The company started rather humbly in 2007, but now operates in over 220 countries, covering more than 100 000 cities, amassing some 5.6 million listings.
Airbnb in SA
It’s popularity in South Africa has boomed over the last few years too. Now new data has revealed for the first time that the rising cost in living is driving South Africans to become hosts on the online platform. Many local hosts on the website have reported they make money with Airbnb as an additional income. For a good amount of them, this is to afford the cost of living and to help make ends meet.
Apparently, the typical South African host earns just over R26 000, 4 in 5 hosts are also only sharing one listing. Hosts across the world have earned a total of $150 billion since 2010, with hosts in South Africa earning almost R12 billion in the same time frame. Airbnb data shows that 1 in 5 local hosts are working in either education, healthcare, or hospitality. Two-thirds of hosts are women and a quarter are over 60 years old.
A lucrative side-hustle
So many South Africans are making money with Airbnb because not only is the rising cost of things driving more people to look for a side-hustle, but it is changing the landscape of how people travel too. Airbnb is generally seen as a more affordable option for travel worldwide, especially for families.
In fact, the growth in popularity of Airbnb has been astounding in the last year alone. In the Western Cape Theewaterskloof Municipality alone, hosts earner around 65% more in 2021 compared to in the pre-pandemic year of 2019.
‘With borders reopening and travel back on the agenda for many, looking back at last year proves there is a real opportunity for our hosts to welcome guests into their local communities, all while earning helpful cash on the side,’ said Velma Corcoran, Region Lead for Airbnb. ‘With the rising costs of living, the extra income could prove to be a real lifeline for many.’
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Cover image by Edelle Bruton on Unsplash.