According to the latest survey, Malaysia’s Airbnb host community in Sabah and Sarawak collectively earned around RM1.4 million (US$346,100) in less than a week, hosting nearly 6,800 guests, altogether. Keeping the statistics in consideration, travel beyond big cities got highlighted and is on the rise as now-a-days travelers are opting for off-the-beaten-track destinations than a typical urban tourism hot-spots.
The numbers were in conjunction with the Rainforest World Music Festival held in July 2019 in Kuching, Sarawak, which gathered around 1,500 guests and earnings of almost RM265,000 (US$63,780); and the Kota Kinabalu Jazz Festival in August 2019, where more than 5,000 guests brought a revenue of around nearly RM1.2 million (US$282,323).
Mich Goh, Head of Public Policy for Airbnb in Southeast Asia said “As the world’s largest community-driven hospitality platform, Airbnb is committed to working with local governments and tourism organizations to offer a sustainable solution, helping towns and cities benefit from the influx of tourism around big events without having to invest in additional infrastructure. In preparation for Visit Malaysia 2020, we are looking to continue making travel to emerging destinations more accessible, and empowering local hospitality entrepreneurs to share their spaces and passions with guests around the world.”
Powered by travelers increasingly seeking more local, unique and authentic experiences, the number of Airbnb guest arrivals visiting off-the-beaten path destinations in Malaysia grew by 98% year-on-year in 2018. Some areas with the fastest growth included: Sibu, Sarawak with an increase in popularity of 290%, Semporna, Sabah with an increase of 290%, Alor Setar, Kedah showed an increase of 214% and Tanjung Tokong, Penang - 177%
With up to 97 percent of the listing price going directly to Airbnb hospitality entrepreneurs and almost 50 percent of guests’ spending within the neighborhoods where they stay, the financial benefits of tourism can be significant for travel destinations.
Goh added “Recently, we saw the launch of Malaysia’s first Airbnb Home Sharing Club by the host community in Kuala Lumpur, which allows hosts to come together to share advice and best practices, connect with other passionate hosts, support volunteer activity and advocate for fair home sharing laws. There is a growing Airbnb community in Malaysia full of passionate people who care deeply about home sharing, and we hope to eventually expand the number of home sharing clubs to represent host communities nationwide,”
In the past year, over 250,000 guests traveled with Airbnb to big events beyond big cities across Asia Pacific, bringing approximately US$24 million in host earnings to the community.
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