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This Airbnb trend bodes well for SA - report

Sep 18 2017 16:26
Carin Smith

Cape Town - More and more families were using Airbnb to explore destinations that feature family-friendly fun like amusement parks, zoos, beaches and nature reserves, research by the home-sharing platform shows.

Based on total family bookings, Airbnb found that the most popular countries for families overall were the US, France, Italy and Spain. Travelers largely flocked to ocean side destinations.

Airbnb recently released a report on the biggest travel trends during the summer season in the Northern Hemisphere (1 June and 1 August 2017).

Globally a total of about 45 million guests stayed at Airbnb homes during this period. About 8 million of these guests were families. The average cost per person per night among family travellers to the US was $50 (about R660).
Another trend was that travellers wanted active experiences like hiking, riding, sailing and dancing. Biking experiences were popular too, along with hiking and boating.

According to Airbnb, this bodes well for the South African home sharing market, considering the amount of active leisure experiences to be had in the country.

There are over 10 000 Airbnb property listings in Cape Town alone.

Experiences tourists could choose from on the Airbnb Cape Town site, for instance, include a hike to a waterfall, surfing lessons, exploring caves, climbing up Table Mountain, wine tasting, creating African jewellery, bike rides, local cooking lessons, being part of an empowering basketball coaching session and turning trash into art.

Another trend the research picked up was an increased interest in China.

Hangzhou saw a 495% increase in guests, Chongqing (388%) and Wuhan (371%). These were the top three highest-growth destinations over last year.

Tax implications

In the past Fin24 reported, however, that, although this form of income seems ideal, it is important to consider the tax implications of earning this income and ensuring that adequate provision is made for any resultant tax liability.
Jeremy Burman of Private Client Holdings warns that the earning of rental income, in which category Airbnb income would fall, is regarded as a trade by the SA Revenue Service (SARS).

The owner of the Airbnb property must, therefore, declare all rental income received or accrued during the tax year. He will in turn be entitled to deduct any expenses incurred in the earning of this income with the result that only the net profit will be taxable.

Where a property is jointly owned, for example by a married couple, the income and expenses will be shared equally between the owners for tax purposes – regardless of which person physically receives the income or pays for the expenses.

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