Living and Working Anywhere Across Asia Pacific

Today at the Travel Reimagined: An APEC and Airbnb Tourism Forum, Airbnb released new data highlighting how 2020 has seen significant changes in how many people want to work, travel and live across the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)  member economies.* 

The Forum, jointly organized by the APEC Tourism Working Group, the National Center for APEC and Airbnb, is focused on exploring the future of travel and the tourism industry. The first of three virtual discussions was moderated by Hermione Joye, Head of Travel (Asia-Pacific), Google, and the panelists included Keith Tan, Chief Executive of the Singapore Tourism Board, Vinoop Goel, Regional Director, Airports & External Relations, Asia-Pacific, IATA and Senior Vice President for Global Policy and Communications at Airbnb Chris Lehane. 

At the Forum, Airbnb released new data from a recent survey which highlighted changes to how many people want to work, travel and live.** The survey confirms that 2020 has seen a work from home revolution, with one in three workers in Thailand, New Zealand, Australia and South Korea now able to work from home since the start of the year. As of October, more than half of workers in Thailand and New Zealand were working from home and large numbers of workers in Australia (49%) and Korea (39%) were also working from home.  

Across the seven countries surveyed, there is a strong desire from people to live and work from anywhere. The survey found the vast majority of people in Thailand (87%), Malaysia (78%), Korea (61%), Australia (65%) and New Zealand (62%) would be interested in living or working from somewhere else. A change of scenery was the most appealing part of living or working from somewhere other than home for Malaysians, New Zealanders, Australians and South Koreans. Three-quarters of Australians believe that working away from home would improve their work-life balance and over 70 percent said it would make them more productive. 

Most people are looking closer to home – coastal and regional areas – for their ideal remote work location. Eighty-four percent of Australians, 74 percent of South Koreans, 73 percent of Malaysians and 72 percent of Thais would be interested in working or living in a coastal or regional area. Even though international travel is limited for the time being, the opportunity to live or work from another country was also popular with 46 percent of Malaysians and 35 percent of Australians interested in the idea. 

The survey results align with travel trends Airbnb was already seeing emerge. Across the APEC economies, some of the top ranked countries for long-term stays in 2021 are:***

  • Hong Kong SAR
  • Thailand
  • Singapore
  • Canada
  • Peru
  • Indonesia
  • Papua New Guinea 
  • United States
  • Mexico
  • The Philippines

*APEC has 21 member economies including Malaysia, Thailand, Australia and the United States of America. 

**Based on a survey commissioned by Airbnb and conducted by YouGov Research from 15-19 October of over 1,000 adults in Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan. 

***According to Airbnb internal data for long term stays from Jan-Sept 2021.