Attributed to Mich Goh, Head of Public Policy, Southeast Asia, Airbnb
Airbnb welcomes the new initiatives and incentives allocated to Malaysia’s tourism industry as part of the National Budget 2022. They signal strong and positive steps towards revitalizing travel in a post-pandemic era. We are heartened by this much-needed support for the entire sector as we collectively work to support and rebuild Malaysia’s tourism economy.
We applaud the Government’s introduction of the Malaysia Digital Nomad Program to build a national ecosystem and community of digital nomads as a catalyst for tourism recovery. Airbnb is a platform of choice for digital nomads globally, who look for unique getaways with top-notch remote work amenities. We believe that we are entering a new era where travel and living are increasingly blurring, and that the Malaysia Digital Nomad Program marks a progressive and exciting way forward for tourism in the country.
The allocation of spending to rejuvenate Malaysia’s national conservation and preservation efforts, including the rejuvenation of Penang Hill Biosphere Reserve, are also welcome moves to rebuild tourism in a more sustainable and inclusive way. As part of our broader efforts to support this, Airbnb recently launched our inaugural Airbnb Green Stays Awards in Malaysia, which aims to recognize and empower small, local tourism accommodation providers that incorporate sustainable practices into their operations.
Overall, the total of RM1.6 billion allocated to tourism rejuvenation efforts, in particular the RM60 million allocation to promote domestic tourism as well as the RM1,000 tax relief incentive to Malaysians for domestic travel spend in 2022, are welcome measures which we believe will encourage travel and help industry players drive the sector’s recovery.
The pandemic has posed significant challenges for the travel industry, but we have seen a resurgence in travel appetite with the return of interstate and international travel. The Government’s renewed focus to re-energise travel in this new normal marks a clear path forward. Looking ahead, Airbnb hopes to see the expansion of ongoing initiatives, and implementation of new incentives for the short-term residential accommodation industry, which continue to play an essential role in contributing to Malaysia’s tourism economy.
Airbnb will continue to drive a more inclusive, resilient and sustainable form of tourism recovery that empowers local travel and local communities, in line with the Government’s ‘Keluarga Malaysia’ vision to leave no person or business behind. We stand ready as a committed partner to work towards this new future of travel hand in hand with our community, the Malaysian government, and our partners in the public and private sectors.