The Airbnb Experiences – launched in Johannesburg last year – have now been extended to non-profit organisations in the city.

“Social impact experiences are a positive way for Airbnb guests to explore new communities by signing up for neighbourhood explorations, workshops or other activities, such as planting vegetable gardens, offered by local non-profits,” explained Nimri Fares, Global Experiences Lead for Airbnb.

An example of such an experience is to participate in a training session with the Boxing Grannies in Roodepoort. “Hosted by the A Team Foundation, the experience helps promote fitness and bodybuilding in previously disadvantaged areas. Tourists pay for the experience to train with the elderly ladies from the community and this helps raise the funds for new training materials and pay the fitness trainers,” said organiser, Claude Maphosa.

He added that social impact experiences gave Airbnb guests a chance to learn more about a non-profit’s mission and causes.

“International tourists are increasingly looking for authentic experiences that bring them into contact with real people in their everyday lives, like hanging out in a local’s home and learning to cook a traditional dish,” said Fares.

“The real winner is if they feel they are giving back as well.” He added that Airbnb waived its booking fee for these social impact experiences. “Therefore 100% of the fee goes to the non-profit.”