It’s unlikely that Lagos, Nigeria’s bustling economic hub, ranks very high on the bucket list of tourists who want to visit Africa.Unlike cities in South Africa, Mauritius or Morocco, Lagos is known more for its ever-busy business district than for …...
It’s unlikely that Lagos, Nigeria’s bustling economic hub, ranks very high on the bucket list of tourists who want to visit Africa.
Unlike cities in South Africa, Mauritius or Morocco, Lagos is known more for its ever-busy business district than for any picturesque tourism hot spots. Yet, Africa’s mega-city, home to 21 million people, is one of the fastest-growing markets globally for Airbnb, the travel and accommodation startup.
Alongside African counterparts in Ghana and Mozambique, Nigeria, largely thanks to Lagos, was ranked among Airbnb’s eight fastest growing markets globally last year.
That growth trajectory is reflected in the growing supply of Airbnb listings in the city, as data from vacation rental data firm AirDNA shows. Between May 2018 and May 2019, available Airbnb listings in Lagos have nearly doubled.
The booming demand and supply suggests “increasing numbers of travelers are choosing a short-term rental instead of booking traditional accommodation such as a hotel,” says Scott Shatford, chief executive of AirDNA. “You can see this in the particularly large rise in the supply and demand of private rooms. This could be an indicator of a lag in hotel construction—and Airbnb is taking [up] the slack,” he says.
The theory of a hotel deficit applies to several urban centers across Africa which are still regarded as high-growth markets for hotels. As such, some of the world’s largest hotel chains are betting big on billion-dollar expansion plans in African cities over the next decade. But in the meantime, savvy Lagos home owners supplying Airbnb rentals are translating that gap into income: over the past year, revenue per available rental has risen 40%, AirDNA data shows.