Oct 2023 1st edition

South Africa and Airbnb agree to grow tourism sector

Tourism Minister Patricia de Lille has announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between her department and Airbnb to support the continued recovery of the tourism sector and build inclusive tourism in South Africa.

“The MoU will see the Department of Tourism work closely with Airbnb to advance tourism services that are aimed at growing tourism in South Africa and creating more jobs in the sector,” Minister De Lille said.The MoU seeks to grow collaboration between government and the private sector, as it is “a collective responsibility to grow and enhance tourism sector”.

“As government, if we want to significantly grow tourism and its contribution to the economy and job creation, collaboration with the private sector is vital. We are delighted to be the first African Ministry of Tourism to sign a collaborative MoU with a successful global company such as Airbnb,” she said.

Airbnb is an American based company operating an online marketplace for short- and long-term homestays and experiences.
Picture credit: kylefromthenorth
Minister De Lille explained that by leveraging Airbnb's global reach and understanding of the market, the collaboration seeks to create a positive impact on local communities, travellers and the tourism industry as a whole.

“The primary goal of this collaboration is to develop a relationship between the Ministry, entity and Airbnb to harness and drive tourism domestically and internationally.

As part of the MoU, the parties will have regular engagements to evaluate opportunities for strategic collaboration on driving inclusive tourism and ensuring fair and proportionate regulation of short-term rentals.

Velma Corcoran, Regional Lead: Middle East Africa at Airbnb, said they look forward to working with the Department of Tourism to help build a more inclusive and sustainable tourism economy in South Africa.

Corcoran said the Airbnb platform can help anyone, anywhere, to become a tourism entrepreneur, and that they hope to continue to break down systemic barriers to entry and enable more South Africans to participate in the sector.

“We welcome the opportunity to work with the department to develop a clear, proportionate national framework for the regulation of short-term rentals and see huge power in public and private sector collaborations. We also know from our work with the Airbnb Entrepreneurship Academy, that together, we can make a tangible difference and enable more people, in more places, to benefit from tourism,” said Corcoran.

The signing of the MoU is in line with the aims of the Tourism Sector Recovery Plan, which is key to the country’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan.

The Tourism Sector Recovery Plan (TSRP) was adopted by Cabinet in March 2021 to facilitate the recovery of the sector to preserve jobs and livelihoods, facilitate new job opportunities, match demand and supply, and strengthen transformation.  - SAnews.gov.za

Public warned against bogus recruiters

The Department of Water and Sanitation has sent a stern warning to bogus employment recruiters who prey on vulnerable and unemployed people, claiming to be recruiting for a training programme on behalf of the Department.

This is after the Department was inundated with calls and email queries about an alleged mass training programme which targets unemployed young people and pays a salary of R 5 800 per month.

“We would like to put it on record that there is no such a programme in the Department. All official employment adverts are placed on the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) job circular and can also be found on our official website. We have not put out any training programme anywhere,” said Wisane Mavasa, spokesperson for the Department of Water and Sanitation.

The bogus recruiters are conducting an illegitimate and criminal recruitment process, masquerading as officials from the Department.

Members of the public are urged to be vigilant, avoid giving out their personal information and documents to anyone or any institution without the relevant official identification. - SAnews.gov.za

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