How Airbnb is Changing the Nigerian Hospitality Industry

Airbnb is a popular online marketplace that connects travellers with local hosts who offer a range of unique and affordable accommodations, from private rooms to entire apartments and houses. Founded in 2008, Airbnb has grown rapidly over the past decade and now operates in more than 220 countries and regions around the world, including Nigeria. In this article, we will explore how Airbnb is changing the Nigerian hospitality industry and the impact it is having on local communities.

Airbnb in Nigeria: Overview and Growth

Airbnb first launched in Nigeria in 2012, with a few dozen listings in Lagos, the country’s largest city. Since then, Airbnb has experienced tremendous growth in Nigeria, with thousands of hosts and properties available for booking in cities and towns across the country. According to Airbnb’s 2020 Travel Trends report, Nigeria was one of the fastest-growing markets for Airbnb in Africa, with a 213% increase in bookings from the previous year.

One of the reasons for Airbnb’s popularity in Nigeria is the affordable and unique accommodations that it offers. Many Nigerian travellers prefer to stay in homes or apartments, as opposed to traditional hotels, because they provide a more authentic and immersive experience of the local culture. Airbnb listings in Nigeria include a wide range of options, from cozy private rooms in family homes to luxurious villas with private pools and ocean views.

Another reason for Airbnb’s success in Nigeria is the convenience and ease of use of the platform. Travelers can easily search for and book accommodations on the Airbnb website or app, and hosts can manage their listings and communicate with guests through the platform. Airbnb also provides a secure payment system that protects both hosts and guests from fraud and ensures that transactions are processed smoothly.

Impact on the Nigerian Hospitality Industry

The rise of Airbnb in Nigeria has had a significant impact on the traditional hotel industry, which has long dominated the country’s hospitality sector. According to a report by Hospitality Nigeria, Airbnb is currently the biggest threat to the Nigerian hotel industry, with more travellers opting for short-term rentals through the platform. This trend has led to a decline in hotel occupancy rates and revenue, especially among mid-tier and budget hotels.

However, the impact of Airbnb is not all negative. The rise of short-term rentals has created new opportunities for entrepreneurs and small business owners in the hospitality sector. Many Nigerian hosts have turned their homes or spare rooms into Airbnb listings, generating additional income and creating jobs for local service providers such as cleaners, cooks, and tour guides. Airbnb has also encouraged innovation and creativity in the hospitality industry, with hosts offering unique and personalized experiences to guests, such as home-cooked meals, cultural tours, and language lessons.

Challenges and Opportunities

Despite its many benefits, Airbnb still faces several challenges in Nigeria. One of the biggest challenges is the lack of regulatory frameworks that govern the short-term rental industry. The Nigerian government has yet to establish clear guidelines for the operation of Airbnb and other home-sharing platforms, which has led to confusion and uncertainty among hosts and guests. Additionally, safety concerns, such as the risk of fraud and theft, have also been raised by both hosts and guests.

To address these challenges, Airbnb has worked closely with local stakeholders to develop responsible and sustainable tourism practices. In 2018, Airbnb signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Lagos State Government, which aims to promote tourism, boost economic growth, and ensure that Airbnb listings comply with local laws and regulations. Airbnb has also implemented a range of safety measures, such as ID verification and background checks, to protect hosts and guests from fraudulent activities.

Case Studies: Successful Airbnb Hosts and Guests in Nigeria

To illustrate the impact of Airbnb on the Nigerian hospitality industry, let’s take a look at some successful case studies of Airbnb hosts and guests in Nigeria.

Host Case Study: Nkem Ogbuagu

Nkem Ogbuagu is a Nigerian entrepreneur and Airbnb host who has turned her family home in Lagos into a successful short-term rental property. Nkem started hosting on Airbnb in 2016 and has since welcomed dozens of guests from around the world to her cozy and stylish apartment. In an interview with Forbes Africa, Nkem shared her experience of being an Airbnb host in Nigeria:

“Hosting on Airbnb has been a great experience for me. It’s allowed me to meet people from all over the world, learn about different cultures, and share my passion for Nigerian hospitality. It’s also been a great source of income for me and my family, and has helped us to improve our home and provide better services to our guests.”

Guest Case Study: Tomiwa Ademidun

Tomiwa Ademidun is a Nigerian traveller and Airbnb guest who has used the platform to explore different parts of the country and connect with local hosts. Tomiwa started using Airbnb in 2018 and has since stayed in a variety of unique and affordable accommodations, from a treehouse in Ibadan to a beachfront villa in Lagos. In an interview with The Guardian Nigeria, Tomiwa shared his experience of using Airbnb in Nigeria:

“Airbnb has been a game-changer for me as a traveller in Nigeria. It’s allowed me to discover new places, meet interesting people, and experience the local culture in a way that traditional hotels can’t match. I also appreciate the affordability and flexibility that Airbnb offers, as it allows me to travel more often and for longer periods of time.”


Airbnb is changing the Nigerian hospitality industry in significant ways, by offering affordable and unique accommodations, creating new opportunities for entrepreneurs and small business owners, and promoting responsible and sustainable tourism practices. While there are still challenges and opportunities to be addressed, such as regulatory frameworks and safety concerns, Airbnb has the potential to transform the way Nigerians travel and experience their own country, as well as the way that the world views Nigeria as a travel destination. As more Nigerians embrace the sharing economy and seek out alternative forms of accommodation, Airbnb will continue to play a key role in shaping the future of the Nigerian hospitality industry

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