Tourism entrepreneurs in Khayelitsha embrace technology to grow their businesses
Tourism entrepreneurs in Khayelitsha have embraced technology to help them share South African culture with the world, and to grow their businesses.
Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, visited with Airbnb hosts in Khayelitsha yesterday (11 September 2017). The visit formed part of Minister Winde's programme for Tourism Month.
The hosts completed a two-week Innovation and Hospitality programme through Airbnb.
There are currently six Airbnb hosts in Khayelitsha, and a further five offering Airbnb Experiences.
Interest in signing up with Airbnb is growing rapidly, which has led to the tech platform dedicating a space at the Khayelitsha Barn to advise aspiring entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurs Buntu Matole and Ayanda Cuba are the founders of About Brands Communities and Designs Concepts (ABCD). They offer the Hilltop Run Experience on the Airbnb platform.
All proceeds go towards their Sporting Code initiative, which uses sports as a development tool for young people. One of the projects is to build a multi-purpose centre for the Chumisa School.
Through Hilltop Run, tourists are taken on a 6km jog or cycle ride through the community. The hosts give tourists a brief history of the area, ending off with a lunch at the Spinach King restaurant at Khayelitsha.
Matole said: "We are disrupting the way people view Khayelitsha. When tourists come in here by bus, that's not interactive. When you are jogging or cycling through the streets, you can form a real connection.
"Visitors want to be part of the community; they want to engage. They are not leaving with assumptions, they are leaving with facts."
Matole said visitors had made monetary contributions and donations of equipment to the Chumisa School project.
"I would encourage people who are interested in building a business to find their passion first. Look at the problems in your community, and the solution will be part of your business," said Matole.
Airbnb host Maria Maile said her business had been expanding since she signed up on Airbnb.
"My business is my pride, and I want to inspire the women and young people of Khayelitsha. If we can get the youth involved, we can sustain tourism in our community. That is how we eliminate crime, and even look after our environment. I want to share my knowledge. To die with knowledge is a waste."
Minister Winde said he was encouraged by the growth of Airbnb listings in Khayelitsha.
"The entrepreneurs here are sharing South African culture with the world. The Barn has always been a hub of innovation and technology, and I am glad to see that it is playing a central part in driving this exciting growth we are seeing here in Khayelitsha."
Velma Corcoran, Airbnb's Regional Market Consultant for Southern Africa, said: "Through hosting on Airbnb, members of the Khayelitsha community can become part of the tourism economy. This will directly impact their lives but also benefits the wider community, local business and shops. Airbnb can help unlock diverse communities that weren't as accessible to visitors before. We are very excited about this opportunity."
Tel: 021 483 3550
Cell: 060 970 4301
Issued by: Western Cape Economic Development and Tourism