Airbnb Listings Spiked to 130% in Malaysia
Airbnb listings surged 130 percent year-on-year to around 18,000 in Malaysia as at July, revealed Robin Kwok, Airbnb Southeast Asia, Taiwan and Hong Kong country manager.
She noted that Airbnb saw guest arrivals in Malaysia increase 231 percent to 638,000 in 2016, reported The Edge.
"Unsurprisingly, Kuala Lumpur is a huge draw, with a 201 percent year-on-year increase in inbound guest arrivals, but people from all over the world are also attracted to lesser-known tourist spots, such as Ipoh, Cameron Highlands, Port Dickson and Lumut.â€
And with the home sharing platform playing a key role in Southeast Asia's tourism growth, Kwok said Airbnb can continue to grow in Malaysia as tourists increasingly look for unique and authentic experiences during their travels.
"Known for its rich culture and traditions, it's not surprising that Malaysia is particularly popular and one of our top destinations in Southeast Asia" she said.
Although home-sharing services remain unregulated in Malaysia, Kwok explained that Airbnb "is having meaningful and productive conversations with Malaysian authorities, who are excited by the prospect of home-sharing and the benefits Airbnb is already bringing to tourism in Malaysiaâ€.
She explained that working closely with the government means that Airbnb wants to pay taxes.
"We're continuously working with governments and policymakers around the world to expand our programme and find a proper way to collect fair tax revenue from our host community â€” and Malaysia is no exception" said Kwok.
"Travel and hospitality in Malaysia are showing no signs of slowing down, and we believe in working hand-in-hand with governments to develop fair regulation and taxation to help contribute to this positive and sustainable growth.â€
In clarifying reports that Airbnb guests caused damage to hosts' properties, Kwok shared that of last year's over 30 million trips, significant property damage claims reimbursed that cost more than US$1,000 under its Host Guarantee programme only stood at 0.009 percent of stays.
"At that rate, you could host a new reservation every single day for over 27 years without expecting to file a significant property damage claim under our Host Guarantee.â€
On the issue that Airbnb is clashing with the hotel industry, Kwok noted that while more people are sharing their homes today, "traditional hotels around the world continue to take in robust profits with consistently high occupancy ratesâ€.
This comes as about 74 percent of Airbnb listings are "outside of traditional hotel districts, so travellers get to experience neighbourhoods that they otherwise would not have seen.â€