Airbnb launched the Cape Town remote working hub, a one-stop-shop for aspiring remote workers, in partnership with Cape Town Tourism. Anyone looking to live and work in Cape Town can now use the hub to find inspiration for local long-term listings and important information on entry requirements and visa policies.
The Live and Work Anywhere partnership will see Cape Town’s official DMO, Cape Town Tourism, collaborate with Airbnb on a range of initiatives to promote the metro to remote workers seeking accommodation for their long-term stays. Cape Town and Airbnb will also come together to create educational campaigns that promote responsible hosting and traveling as a remote worker.
About one in five guests globally reported using Airbnb to work remotely while traveling in 2021 — a trend that has continued into Q1 2022, with long-term stays at an all-time high, doubling in size from Q1 2019. In the first half of 2022, bookings for international solo travel in Cape Town for long-term stays grew by approximately 55% compared to the same time in 2019.
“Cape Town and South Africa are perfectly positioned to reap the benefits of remote working. Together we want to make it easier for people to enjoy the newfound flexibility to work and travel, and help local communities capture the benefits of tourism by continuing to break down the barriers to becoming a tourism entrepreneur,” said Velma Corcoran, Regional Lead for Middle East Africa at Airbnb.
Geordin Hill-Lewis, Cape Town City Mayor, added that “innovation is necessary to continuously attract travellers. Digital nomads make up an ever-expanding market within tourism. A new world of work has emerged where professionals are swapping the office for a room with a view. More and more countries are launching remote work visas. South Africa literally cannot afford to be left behind, especially when other parts of the country, just like Cape Town, have so much to offer these travellers who drive significant revenue into local economies.”
Alderman James Vos, the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth, said: “A 2021 survey of global professionals found that 74% of them believe remote working will become the new normal while 97% of employees and entrepreneurs said they wanted flexibility in terms of where they do their jobs. Surveyed digital nomads have also said that Cape Town is one of their favourite cities for living, working, and playing and so we quickly learned that this is something that we as a City must get ahead of. This is why we approached Airbnb, the global leader in the home-stay platform and who recently initiated a policy to let their employees live and work from anywhere in the world.”
In March, Airbnb, together with the Western Cape government and the province's tourism, trade, and investment promotion agency, Wesgro, offered discounts, of up to 50%, on stays for longer the 28 days. In July, Airbnb included Cape Town as one of 20 destinations it would promote as a remote work hotspot as part of its "live and work anywhere initiative".