Ugandan homeowners listing their properties on Airbnb, a rising star in the hospitality world, have seen their monthly incomes double from October 2022 to May 2023.
Recent data reveals that the average monthly earnings for Ugandans with properties on Airbnb reached Shs1.034m ($279) up from Shs563,350 ($152) in October 2022. These impressive figures also highlight an increase in the occupancy rate, which surged from 16% to a remarkable 43% in the six months ending March 2023, a change attributed to a boost in investor travel and spending.
AirDNA, a renowned vacation rental research firm, presented these statistics and deduced that the upswing in earnings and occupancy is predominantly due to price appreciation and an upsurge in local demand.
When broken down, this translated to an average daily income of Shs148,250 ($40), with Kampala, Uganda’s bustling capital, being the hotspot for these rentals. The city recorded a substantial 3,185 active Airbnb listings during the observed period.
Shedding light on these figures, AirDNA explained, “The average daily rate is the booked nightly rate combined with cleaning fees for all booked days over the past year.” They further clarified that the stated revenue does not account for taxes, service charges, or additional guest fees.
Such short-term rental platforms, like Airbnb, are undeniably revolutionizing the hospitality industry. With a growing number of travelers opting for personalized experiences over traditional hotel stays, Airbnb’s and similar setups are not only fulfilling these desires but also bolstering household incomes.
Yet, this shift is not without challenges. The rising popularity of these short-term accommodations has led to growing concerns about visitor safety.
Digging deeper, AirDNA’s data highlighted that a whopping 66% of visitors prefer renting the entire property, leaving 34% who opt for individual rooms.
Highlighting the platform’s dynamics, AirDNA mentioned, “Active rentals are those that had at least been reserved or available for a minimum of one day in the previous month.”
While Airbnb dominates the Ugandan market, other platforms like VRBO also share the pie. Both these platforms hail from the US and are renowned for their short-term home rentals.
A key factor in Airbnb’s success has been its flexible cancellation policies, an attractive feature for travelers. Besides this, visitors have displayed a preference for properties boasting amenities such as spacious kitchens, secure parking, robust internet connectivity, washers, air conditioning, cable TV, heating, swimming pools, and hot tubs.
Apart from Kampala, the demand for Airbnbs has spread to other Ugandan locales, with Nakawa, Makindye, Kawempe, Entebbe, Jinja, Rubaga, Muyenga, and Kapchorwa seeing a significant number of listings.
For travelers and investors alike, the rise of Airbnb in Uganda signals a fresh, lucrative era in the hospitality sector, offering novel opportunities and experiences