Through this time in Japan, coupled with time spent in the USA and Canada also homestaying, Mr Ongera gained an appreciation of the scope for cultural learning provided by homestay. He began to develop a business around the concept of homestay, realising its potential to not only provide a living for himself and his family but to also extend the benefits and opportunities associated with tourist visitors to his neighbours and to wider communities across Africa.
African Homestay and Safaris matches international visitors with hosts in Africa according to their respective interests and expectations. It works to ensure that both parties are happy with arrangements and that the homestay experience is rewarding, worthwhile and safe for all involved. At the heart of the homestay concept, and central to the way African Homestay and Safaris works, is a desire that revenues and the wider benefits associated with tourism reach local communities. On average tourists under the programme pay hosts around US $20 a day. The programme usually lasts 3-4 weeks but there have been instances where tourists have stayed with host families for as long as a year.
We encourage tourists to visit Africa as their contribution to POVERTY REDUCTION especially at the local level by Africans getting benefits from tourism.Tourism is one of the leading "ready" exports and foreign exchange earners for most African countries.But almost 85% on money tourism earnings goes back to foreign investors or countries of origin of the tourists because most hotels,travel agencies,airlines lodges,ranches,villas etc are foreign owned.
Tourism revenue to Africa is far bigger than foreign aid to Africa! Africa's share of global tourism revenues according to the UN is 3.6% and tourism accounts for more than 11% of Africa's GDP.
Cultural tourism(home stay being part of it) accounts for 5% of global tourism and is growing at the rate of 20-30% per year according to World Tourism Organisation.
Home stay tourism benefits the locals where the tourists LIVE,STUDY and do voluntary WORK.
It is a pity that most governments and tourism institutions do not grasp this concept of locals benefiting from tourism.They are only interested in job creation , investment and tax payment as the communities along the tourist circuits live in abject poverty!
Tourism must benefit the tourist and the locals.That is why we pioneer and champion home stay tourism ,cultural immersion and voluntary work concepts to help the communities along tourist circuits with home stay fees(paid to hosts),cross-cultural learning(how much of one's culture or heritage can a tourist learn in a hotel compared with staying with a local family?) and other community projects where guests volunteer.