• “43% of homeowners in Malaysia surveyed have considered hosting to take advantage of the new appetite for travel.”
  • “Notably, 85% of Malaysians polled said they were looking for ways to offset rising costs of living.”

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 30): More Malaysians are turning to hosting on Airbnb for additional income, with a survey commissioned by the company revealing that “43% of homeowners in Malaysia surveyed have considered hosting to take advantage of the new appetite for travel”. 

Globally, Airbnb has seen strong growth rates of new hosts, especially in countries with high inflation rates.

“Notably, 85% of Malaysians polled said they were looking for ways to offset rising costs of living,” stated Airbnb in a press release.

The survey also showed that “desire for travel remains high, with more than one third of respondents saying that they will continue to find ways to travel even if general costs of living rise”.

Over two thirds of Malaysians polled indicated that they were now more flexible about their holiday type and time of travel. More than one in four said they were more open to travelling at off-peak times.

The factors that influence when and how Malaysians travel are:

• 47% said it depends whether they can find accommodations that make longer stays easy and comfortable;

• 39% pointed to destinations with unique accommodations;

• More than a quarter prioritised access to amenities that make combining remote work and travel easy, such as a dedicated workspace and a fast, reliable internet connection.

Mich Goh, Airbnb’s head of public policy for Southeast Asia, India, Hong Kong and Taiwan, said the fundamental shifts towards flexible travel point to the increasingly important role that short-term accommodations (STRA) like Airbnb play in the new era of travel.

“Hosting on Airbnb continues to be an important source of income for millions around the world including everyday Malaysians, especially during a cost of living crisis.

“We are fully committed to working with the government to ensure a clear, simple and effective national framework for STRA, to pave the way for more Malaysians to host with us and have a share in the benefits of tourism,” said Goh.

Airbnb also highlighted “a new wave of Malaysians” becoming first-time hosts such as Sarah Othman from Selangor.

Sarah’s decision to start hosting came about owing to the need to cover the medical needs and treatment of her daughter who was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. The “extra boost” in income helped.

Meanwhile, Izam Yamin and wife Zana started welcoming guests into their “stylishly decorated” studio apartment in July 2022.

“The income we earn covers our mortgage and children’s tuition fees. It has also given Zana the freedom to quit her full-time job to focus on the family while she figures out where she wants to work next,” Izam revealed.

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