Recent research reveals that Airbnb travelers are bidding adieu to the bigger cities and are choosing instead to visit smaller towns, mainly those in the Western Cape, with their nearest and dearest, making way for a slower pace for their family break.
During this period of 1 March – 21 April, it seems that we are enjoying local farm life quite a bit with an increase of 19.87% in farm stay bookings on Airbnb (when compared with the same period last year).
In many ways farms are ideal for Airbnb guests. Set in the beautiful countryside, farms serve as excellent stops between destinations on long road trips and provide a unique insight into rural life. For travellers looking for an authentic, local experience, farm stays offer the perfect chance to meet local communities away from the typical tourist hotspots.
Many farmers are finding they have buildings on their premises, which they can transform into accommodation to share on Airbnb. This innovation not only creates an extra source of income, but it diversifies business and brings in a new type of work ‒ welcoming people from around the world.
Farm owner and Airbnb Host Jacqui Pols says she has long used Airbnb when travelling around South Africa and overseas and has always loved staying in local homes. “Based on my own experiences, I thought it would be a nice platform to market my cottages on.”
“We have had people stay in our cottages from all over the world. In this way we have met many interesting people from around the world. Some of these people (now friends) have invited us to visit them in their homes when travelling to their country.”
There are many benefits of listing on such booking platforms, according to Pols, including reviews from your guests, exposure to new potential guests around the world and, of course, the extra income.
In Mpumalanga, Airbnb farm host Pieter Erasmus explains that they were looking for ways to earn extra income on their farm when they discovered Airbnb. “We were not expecting anything to happen. The first booking came out of the blue after we had almost forgotten about Airbnb.
“The income has certainly helped a lot. We are able to use the money to do renovations to our home. The biggest benefit, however, is the springboard to develop our farm into a tourism business.