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Airbnb Launches New Host-Led Initiative to Help Aid the Recovery of Small Local Jozi Businesses

In an effort to aid sector recovery, particularly the recovery of the SMEs, Airbnb is today launching an innovative new host-led initiative, ‘Support Jozi, Shop Local’, in partnership with payment app, SnapScan.

This initiative aims to drive traffic to the smaller businesses, assisting them in their recovery by giving an incentive to  people for supporting  small businesses, and deliver a much-needed economic boost to local communities. 

Using the SnapScan app, locals and visitors alike can now buy goods and services in 20+ Jozi businesses, chosen and recommended by local Hosts on Airbnb. People using SnapScan in these locations will also earn cashback vouchers called ‘Jozibucks’, which can then be ‘spent’ in the shops throughout March, driving additional revenue for the local businesses. The vouchers are funded by Airbnb.

The “Support Jozi Shop Local” initiative aims to encourage an inclusive recovery of the sector, by providing a platform to showcase small local businesses and their products. 

Featured Jozi businesses include coffee shops, eateries and hair salons, including The Bioscope and Salvation Cafe in Millpark, Home of the Bean in Jeppestown, Victoria Yards in Lorentzville and Wild Hair in Parkhurst. 

SnapScan is a contactless mobile payment solution that makes it easy and safe to pay and receive payments in a store, online, at home, and on the go.

Velma Corcoran, Middle East and Africa Regional Lead for Airbnb said: “Airbnb’s community is known for its passion for spending and supporting local small businesses, and as many guests on Airbnb will know, it’s often their hosts who have the best local recommendations. Initiatives like this help drive local recovery in South Africa, while providing an economic lifeline for local families, small businesses and communities.

“We know local businesses are struggling right now, so together with local Hosts, we want to highlight them and give them the praise they deserve, and encourage everyone to support their community, and shop local.”

As part of the Support Jozi campaign, Airbnb has also released a map and guide, in partnership with South African Tourism,  IAMJOBURG, CURIOCITY and Gauteng Tourism Authority, which showcases a variety of small businesses including the more than 20 where locals and visitors can spend and save using the SnapScan app. A Jozibucks pin on the map and in-store shows locals and visitors alike where they can spend and save. 

Chris Zeitsman, CEO of SnapScan: “At SnapScan, we can see first hand the impact the pandemic has had on small businesses across South Africa. The Airbnb Support Jozi initiative not only shines a light on hardworking small business owners, but will also generate real economic impact that directly supports recovery in local communities.” 

Hosts on Airbnb and small businesses alike have spoken out about the importance of shopping locally as a result of the pandemic. Michelle, owner of The Perfect Cup and a host on Airbnb, says: “When Hosts on Airbnb recommend small businesses like mine to guests, it really helps everyone thrive! Before COVID-19 I realised there had been an influx of people coming to my coffee shop. I wasn’t sure who was recommending the guests so I asked one of the customers. Turns out they were staying in a home on Airbnb – their hosts told them about my coffee store.

Partners of Airbnb’s Support Jozi, Shop Local campaign shared their support for the initiative:

Sisa Ntshona, CEO at South Africa Tourism:  “This initiative speaks to the work that South African Tourism has been championing throughout the pandemic, to ensure an inclusive recovery of the sector by aiding the SMEs to recover from the pandemic. We are therefore delighted to be working with Airbnb to encourage South Africans to support small businesses. Tourism is a vital instrument for the economic recovery of our country, to help our economy recover, and we applaud this project which aims to inspire locals and visitors alike to explore and spend locally.”

Dawn Robertson, CEO of Constitution Hill and custodian of the IAMJOBURG digital tourism platform: “The impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic has been devastating for businesses in Johannesburg and across South Africa. We are delighted to be partnering with Airbnb on an endeavor such as this that promotes the support of local businesses in our city to serve as a catalyst towards our efforts in reigniting the economy.

Bheki Dube, CEO and founder of CURIOCITY: “Local small businesses have constantly proved to be the catalyst in sustaining our economy and retaining the city’s history, heritage and soul. We are very pleased to be involved in this incredible initiative with Airbnb and to see local businesses getting the exposure, support and spotlight they deserve.

Acting CEO of Gauteng Tourism Authority, Barba Gaoganediwe: “Gauteng has traditionally always been a thriving tourism hub and Johannesburg in particular is the entry point for many who visit South Africa. A project such as this one truly goes to show that our province has much to offer locals and visitors alike, and we are thrilled to be part of a project with Airbnb that promotes and showcases this.” 

For more information on Support Jozi, Shop Local, visit and watch out for the Jozibucks pin on the map and in-store. For more information about the applicable terms to the cashback vouchers managed by Snapscan please check here.