Tourism, Cars, Traffic

Friday, 17 March 2017 12:16

Surf with a Purpose

Written by 
Minister Alan Winde surfs with a purpose

Since launching in 2008, Airbnb has reimagined the way people travel.

In the last few months, Airbnb’s business has expanded beyond accommodation to include unique travel experiences. Since the launch of the Trips platform in November, Airbnb is bringing together where you stay, what you do and the people you meet all in one place. Trips is a people-powered platform designed to make travel both easy and magical and Cape Town was one of just 12 cities chosen for the global launch of Airbnb Trips.

Trips exposes guests to the very essence of the city they visit by offering them authentic Experiences hosted by locals that share their passion, Trips is a great way to discover new and interesting things to do in a city and meet new people, whether you’re a visitor, or a local.

With Trips, you could find yourself learning how violins are made in Paris, train with marathon runners in Kenya, or learn about the different cultures in Cape Town’s township communities.


Surf with Purpose is a 3.5-hour Airbnb surfing Experience Muizenberg beach with internationally-accredited surfing instructor Apish Tshetsha. Apish is the first surfer to emerge from Masiphumelele. He is a graduate from the Waves for Change programme himself and today he is a REEF South Africa rider, who holds accreditation as a surf lifesaver and surf coach. Surf with Purpose is a social impact Experience, meaning that guests go on experiences with knowledgeable hosts from local non-profit organisations and get to know their causes, while also making an impact. 100% of what guests pay goes directly to the organisations as Airbnb waives their fees on social impact Experiences. Apish was born in Tsolo, a few km from Umtata, and grew up in Masiphumelele. He dropped out of school due because it was too expensive and government subsistence never came through. Eventually he met Tim, who taught him how to surf. Together they set up Waves for Change.

Link to Surf with Purpose Experience:


Waves for Change is an award-winning non-profit organisation founded by Ashoka Fellow, Tim Conibear. The programme uses surfing as a form of therapy to help vulnerable children, often from violent and impoverished communities, cope with the stress of their lives. It provides access to safe spaces, caring adults and surf therapy sessions designed to help at-risk youth regulate behaviour, build self-confidence, establish healing relationships and, ultimately make positive life choices. Last month, Waves for Change won the Laureus Sport for Good Award. From an initial reach of 10 children in the township of Masiphumelele, the program has since grown to reach more than 400 children, teachers, and parents every year. Since its inception in 2011, over 1000 children have gone through the programme. Female participation has increased to a third in the past two years and over 50 coaches have gained qualifications in surf instructing, lifesaving, counselling and computer skills. 98% of children who attend Waves for Change say they feel happier and more confident as a result. Waves for Change now operates in six sites across Africa.

Link to Waves for Change:


"This experience was amazing. Having just gotten off a plane after a really long flight, there’s no better way to immerse yourself right away in the local community. Having just surfed with Apish, who is the first ever surfer from Masiphumelele township and all these kids, it’s incredible to see how Experiences are changing the way people experience the Cape Town community. The Waves for Change experience is amazing, it was great fun for Minister Winde and I to take part and I cannot wait to try out all the other great experiences in Cape Town."


“The growth of Airbnb illustrates the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution on our economy. These developments have allowed more people to meaningfully participate in the economy. In the case of Airbnb, this platform provides a space for innovative local entrepreneurs, like Apish Tshetsha, to enter the tourism sector. Cape Town is Airbnb’s largest market in Africa and Airbnb have gone from 10 000 to 15 000 properties in the city. The growth of Airbnb’s offering in our region is excellent news for entrepreneurship and innovation in our tourism sector. It shows that the attractiveness of the Western Cape is growing exponentially. Through our Project Khulisa growth strategy we are seeking to add up to 100 000 jobs to the tourism sector and initiatives such as Airbnb offers exciting opportunities for our residents to contribute towards this growth.”


“It is incredible to think we started with just 10 kids in Masiphumelele and now, with the Airbnb trips, we are teaching people all over the world to surf! I like taking guests to Masiphumelele, my home town, and giving them insight into the culture there, the opportunity to meet my neighbours and sample local food - everyone really enjoys it. The funding we get from these trips goes back into Waves for Change which is also great that we can help even more kids from communities like Masiphumelele"


“Waves for Change is not just about young South Africans working with children, it gives them life skills which are transferable and makes them employable; Apish is a perfect example of this and we're really proud of what he is achieving with his Airbnb experience."  


  • There are more than 3 million Airbnb listings in 190+ countries and 65,000 cities
  • Since Airbnb’s founding in 2008, there have been 160 million total guest arrivals at Airbnb listings globally
  • To date there are more than 800 active experiences available to book in 14 cities
  • Cape Town was one of just 12 launch cities for Trips


  • total listings: 35 000
  • Annual growth rate in listings: 100%
  • Growth in total guest arrivals between 2015 and 2016: 195%
  • Growth in domestic total guest arrivals between 2015 and 2016: 313%
  • Growth in international total guest arrivals between 2015 and 2016: 150%
  • Total listings in Cape Town: 17 500
  • Average income generated by a typical host: 28 400 Rand (ca. 2,180 USD)
  • Average host age: 45 Inbound guest arrivals in the past year: 415 000
  • Top five destinations where people come from to visit South Africa and use Airbnb: US, DE, UK, NE, FR
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