Airbnb reveals South African hosts’ earnings

Sibahle Malinga
By Sibahle Malinga, ITWeb senior news journalist.
Johannesburg, 21 Nov 2022

Home-sharing platform Airbnb says it is witnessing strong demand in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, with the typical South African host earning more than R12 900 on average, this past winter.

This is according to Airbnb’s November 2022 report, which outlines the home-sharing marketplace’s impact on local economies across the globe, and provides a business update for the third quarter of 2022.

According to the report, Airbnb is witnessing increased growth after a significant slowdown during the pandemic. Revenue grew 29% year-over-year to $2.9 billion − the home-sharing platform’s highest quarter to date, it says.

The report notes people who rent their homes on Airbnb use the income they earn to stay afloat in difficult economic times, while travellers who use the platform enjoyed longer stays and spent more money in the third quarter.

According to the report, in Q3 2022, the company had nearly 100 million nights and experiences booked, up 25% year-over-year, and $15.6 billion in gross booking value, up 31% year-over-year.

Airbnb defines “nights and experiences booked” as activities that guests can book during their stay − a key metric that measures the nights and the number of seats for activities booked on the platform.

The company says it is witnessing strong demand in EMEA, with nights and experiences booked growing 20% compared to Q3 2021.

“We’re also seeing hosts earning more than ever before. Last year, the typical host on Airbnb in South Africa earned more than R25 400 and total host earnings globally have increased by 30% in Q3 compared to the same time last year.

“Amidst a rising cost-of-living crisis, earning much-needed income has never been more important. This is leading to a new wave of people considering hosting for the first time. In fact, new private rooms listings added to the platform in South Africa were up over 50% between Q3 2021 and Q3 2022.”

The report notes the majority of hosts globally are using this extra income to help cover mortgage payments, everyday essentials and rising costs.

According to a recent survey, almost half of host respondents said the money they earned through hosting helped them stay in their home, 46% noted they used the extra money to pay for food and other items that have become more expensive, while one in 10 said it helped them avoid eviction or foreclosure.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, over 60 million unique visitors have visited Airbnb’s host page, with over 40% of those visiting in the last year, notes the company.

The average daily rate (ADR) earned in Q3 2022 was $156 – representing a 5% increase from Q3 2021. The year-over-year increase from Q3 2021 was entirely driven by price appreciation, which more than offset some negative impact, as urban destinations and other bookings that tend to have lower ADR rebounded, as well as the impact of foreign exchange, says the firm.

“While domestic and short-distance travel continued to be strong, we saw even further improvement in both longer-distance and cross-border travel during Q3 2022 compared to the prior year.

“In Q3 2022, cross-border travel was 43% of total gross nights booked, up from 33% in Q3 2021. As the impact of the pandemic recedes but macro conditions persist, we expect a continued, albeit choppy, recovery of cross-border travel to be a further tailwind to future results.”