Airbnb Guests Spent RM583mil at Restaurants and Cafes in Malaysia in 2018

  • With spending estimated to exceed RM878 million in Malaysia in 2019, Airbnb’s unique community network effect is spreading the benefits of tourism locally
  • 84% of Airbnb hosts say they recommend restaurants and cafes to guests, driving more people to visit places they might not otherwise discover online

According to new survey findings and analysis of internal data released today, Airbnb’s guest community spent at least an estimatedRM583 million (US$144 million) at restaurants and cafes in Malaysia in 2018. If spending levels remain the same, Airbnb guests are estimated to spend over RM878 million (US$212 million) at restaurants and cafes in the country in 2019.

The influx of tourism spending by Airbnb guests at restaurants and cafes is being felt around the world. For many travelers, belonging means experiencing a place through local foods and flavors by learning to cook a traditional recipe or discovering neighborhood restaurants and cafes, all while creating authentic memories and connections to a destination.

In 2018, Airbnb guests around the world spent US$25 billion in restaurants and cafes. Across Asia, Airbnb guests spent at least an estimated US$2.4 billion at restaurants and cafes in 2018, including over US$212 million in Thailand, US$116 million in Indonesia, US$116 million in the Philippines, and US$58 million in Singapore.

“There is no better way to learn about the rich culture of Malaysia than by discovering the abundance of food and flavors that this nation has to offer. Through Airbnb, we can promote economic opportunity for hosts and the neighborhoods that welcome them, particularly local food establishments and support the Ministry of Tourism’s RM100 billion tourism receipt target,” said Mike Orgill, General Manager for Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan, Airbnb.

Unique aspects of the Airbnb community are helping to drive this spending to new places, forge offline connections and keep the benefits local. Other highlights from Airbnb’s findings include:

  • 84% of Airbnb hosts say they recommend restaurants and cafes to guests, driving more people to visit places they might not otherwise discover online.
  • On average, Airbnb guests say 45% of their spending occurs in the neighborhoods when they visited Malaysia, keeping the impacts local and expanding the economic benefits of travel and tourism outside of traditional tourism areas where other accommodation options are often concentrated.
  • 35% Airbnb guests say they would have not visited or spent less time in the neighborhood of their Airbnb in Malaysia if they had not stayed in an Airbnb.

About the survey and spending data

2018 estimated guest spending at restaurants and cafes in 46 countries and regions is based on internal Airbnb data and approximately 14,000 responses to a voluntary survey sent to a sample of Airbnb guest accounts that had taken a trip to those places in 2018. 2019 estimates are based on the 2018 spending levels and Airbnb internal data for January-October 2019 and October-December 2018 periods. All other percentages related to Airbnb host and guest behaviors are based on more than 237,000 responses to the same voluntary survey to sample of Airbnb guest accounts around the world. No payment or other incentive was provided in exchange for completing the survey.