Airbnb Commentary on Malaysia National Budget 2023 

Attributed to Mich Goh, Airbnb’s Head of Public Policy for Southeast Asia, India, Hong Kong and Taiwan

Airbnb welcomes the new tourism-related commitments and incentives announced today as part of the National Budget 2023. We believe that these robust initiatives will contribute to building a more resilient, inclusive and sustainable tourism industry in this critical time of recovery. 

We commend the government’s provision of RM1.5 billion dedicated to tourism financing, and a further RM200 million to tourism rejuvenation efforts. In particular, we believe that the allocations of RM90 million to promote tourism programmes and RM25 million in discounts, vouchers and rebates of up to RM100 will encourage domestic tourism spend and further drive tourism recovery. We continue to urge the government to extend these ongoing initiatives and new incentives to the short-term rental accommodation (STRA) industry, which is a key contributor to the tourism economy. 

We also applaud the allocation of RM10 million to spur Malaysia’s ecotourism – which includes upgrades in Gua Kelam, Perlis; sustainable solid waste management efforts in Pulau Perhentian, Terengganu; and investment in ecotourism activities in Taman Pertanian Jubli Perak Sultan Ahmad Shah, Pahang. In line with our MOU partnership with the Malaysian Green Technology and Climate Change Corporation (MGTC), we are committed to supporting the country’s green growth agenda and helping to rebuild tourism more sustainably, including educating and empowering more Airbnb Hosts to adopt green practices.

The ongoing resurgence of domestic and inbound travel is creating new economic opportunities for communities in emerging and off-the-beaten destinations*. Notably, the typical earnings for non-urban Airbnb Hosts in Malaysia increased by approximately a third in the second quarter of 2022, compared to the same pre-pandemic period in 2019*. 

Globally, long-term stays of over 28 days continue to comprise Airbnb’s fastest-growing category by trip length, more than doubling from 2019. We believe that the government’s goal to develop six new digital nomad-friendly hotspots and certify 2,000 short term rental accommodation stays as DE Rantau hubs under the DE Rantau programme, will help drive longer stays and position Malaysia as an ideal global destination for remote workers. 

As a partner to the Malaysian Government, Airbnb remains committed to working hand in hand with the government, our local Host community, and our partners in the public and private sectors to drive economic growth and resilience in the post-pandemic era and beyond. 

*New Airbnb data shows how tourism has dispersed post-pandemic