Home-sharing platform Airbnb is investing $1 million to promote and support community-led tourism projects in Africa.

Airbnb will host the Africa Travel Summit at the Guga S’thebe Arts and Culture Center in Langa, Cape Town from September 11th through September 13th.

One hundred and seventy delegates will examine more possibilities for tourism and technology for the African continent.

Hosting the event gives Airbnb a chance to both empower communities and expand its marketplace. Chris Lehane, Airbnb’s global head of public policy and public affairs, stated:

“With Africa poised to become an even bigger player in global travel, it is critical that everyone in the travel sector work together to make sure the benefits go to local families and communities. Inclusive tourism doesn’t just mean enabling guests to stay in unique and diverse listings or experience more authentic ways to travel. It also means enabling and empowering all communities, including those that may have not previously benefited from tourism.”

Airbnb hosted another initiative earlier this month. The so-called Airbnb Africa Academy was a two-day training program in Cape Town. The academy partnered with Open Africa to train entrepreneurs and organizations in hospitality and technology use.

Open Africa helped participants to further advance their skills in computer basics and accounting. The training focused on how technology creates a more convenient experience for guests.

Targeted at women and young people from underprivileged communities, Airbnb plans to expand the program to 15 more townships across South Africa by 2019.

Velma Corcoran, country manager for Airbnb in South Africa, explains the significance of technology in business:

“Technology can be a powerful driver of change, especially in underserved communities. Airbnb wanted to harness this power by upskilling residents who then become tourism micro-entrepreneurs.”


Featured Image via Wikimedia Commons