Ghana is among the top three fastest- growing markets for Airbnb, a home-sharing platform on which travellers are turning to find accommodation in homes.
Although the US-based platform is yet to release absolute figures on the country, Ghana recorded 141 per cent growth in the use of the platform to find accommodation.
The platform allows home owners to share their homes with guests, with 97 per cent of the revenue going to the home owners.
The other top two countries are Nigeria which grew by 213 per cent and Mozambique.
However, South Africa remains the biggest market for Airbnb, taking in two million out of the 3.5 million guests that arrived on the continent using the platform to find a place of abode.
The Head of Global Policy and Public Affairs of Airbnb, Mr Chris S. Lehane, announced the figures at the ongoing Africa Travel Summit at Langa in Cape
The report is on how the Airbnb platform is promoting travel that is local, diverse and inclusive in South Africa.
Mr Lehane observed that across the continent, what is known as townships (zongos) had not been opened to international travellers but said when done respectfully, it could create opportunities for local communities in a diversified way.
He said the platform was not meant to compete with hotels but rather complement their work.
With growing fears that technology would take over the world, he said tourism was one of few sectors across the world that would still rely on people for service delivery.
He said the platform was bringing people together across the world, citing the more than 3.5 million people in Africa who opened their doors to strangers as a unique example.
According to the Airbnb report, a survey of guests to South Africa revealed that 52 per cent of their tourism spending occurred in the local neiogbourhood where they stay.
With hotel bills on the rise in some countries in Africa, the report said “many guests choose listings on Airbnb because they were more affordable options than other forms of accommodation. About 98 per cent of guests to South Africa said they chose to stay at listings on Airbnb to save money.
“But these guests then spend the money they save at other locations during their trip—for example, at local businesses,” an Airbnb survey report said.
The three-day summit was organised by Airbnb as part of its US $1 million invetment to boost community-led tourism projects in Africa.
The topics under discussion included tourism for all, government as an enabler for innovation, bridging the digital divide to bring a continent online and resilient tourism in time of crisis.
Interestingly, Cape Town is dealing with one of its worst water crisis in years with a campaign to save the city’s dam from hitting zero level yielding fruits.
More than 30 high-profile speakers are leading the discussions on how technology could transform tourism for a growth that is inclusive and sustainable.