Hosts in Malaysia use income from hosting to combat rising cost of living; convenience and affordability continues to drive preference among guests in Malaysia.
Today, Airbnb is releasing the results from its latest survey1 of Hosts and guests. The findings among Hosts and guests who used the platform last year in Malaysia provide insights into how Hosts are using their income from Airbnb in a time of economic recovery after COVID-19 and how guests are using the platform amidst a travel revolution.
Mitigating higher prices with hosting
As the pandemic saw businesses and livelihoods impacted and costs of living rise across Malaysia, income earned through hosting became an essential part of navigating these challenges. In response to a question about why they host their space on Airbnb:
- Approximately half of the Hosts surveyed said the money earned from hosting helps cover the rising costs of living.
- Over 40 percent said they host to earn money to make ends meet.
- More than 60 percent of Malaysian Hosts surveyed said one of the reasons they host is to earn extra spending money.
- Almost 50 percent said they host to earn money to grow their business.
According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM), Malaysia’s consumer price index (CPI) increased by 2.3 percent in April 2022 from a year earlier due to higher food prices2. Against the backdrop of higher prices for everyday goods, almost 60% of Hosts surveyed in Malaysia said they use the income earned through hosting on Airbnb to buy food and other necessities that have become more expensive.
More than half of Malaysian Hosts surveyed also concurred that they expect Host income to become more important, with over 50 percent saying they expect to become more reliant on income from hosting in the next year.
Hosts are also using the income earned on Airbnb to help pay for the most basic of needs – housing. The pandemic has reversed job growth in Malaysia with over one third of Hosts surveyed experiencing a pay cut or reduced work hours. Almost half of Hosts surveyed said that Host income has helped them stay in their home. Of that group surveyed, almost 60 percent of Hosts said that hosting helped them avoid foreclosure or eviction. Beyond paying their rent and mortgages, more than half of the Hosts surveyed indicated that they use the money earned through hosting to improve their homes.
Hosts are key contributors to their local communities. As Malaysians come together to rebuild the country’s economy, the support lokal spirit continues to thrive among Airbnb Hosts as they contribute to the local community and economy through recommending locally-owned businesses to guests, and creating economic opportunities:
- Over two third of Airbnb Hosts surveyed in Malaysia said that they have recommended places to eat, shop and activities in the neighborhood of the Airbnb listing that are lesser-known by tourists.
- Hosts surveyed also like to share recommendations with guests about restaurants and cafes (over two third), outdoor sites and activities (over 50 percent), lesser-known areas and places to visit (over 40 percent), and shops and boutiques (over 40 percent), amongst others.
- Almost half of those surveyed say that they hire support staff such as professional cleaners.
Guests travel and work remotely, enjoy affordable stays
The pandemic has changed the way people travel, with millions of people now more flexible about where they live and work. Last year, Airbnb deployed more than 150 updates to the Airbnb service, and last month, the company introduced the biggest change to Airbnb in a decade — to ensure that Airbnb is supporting the continuing travel revolution and optimizing for the new flexibility of guests.
In a trend that began last year and has continued into Q1 2022, guests are staying longer — essentially living on Airbnb. Long-term stays were at an all-time high in Q1 2022, more than doubling in size from Q1 2019, and continue to represent around one in every five nights booked. In addition, nearly half of the nights booked in Q1 2022 were for one week or more. In Malaysia, more than a third of the guests3 surveyed said they stayed at an Airbnb listing to travel and work remotely.
To ensure that Airbnb is supporting the continuing travel revolution and optimizing for the new flexibility of guests, Airbnb introduced the biggest change to its platform in a decade earlier in May, which includes the Airbnb Categories, a redesigned user interface that makes it easy for guests to discover millions of homes they never knew existed – helping to spread tourism outside of typical destinations and Split Stays, an innovative feature that splits guests’ trips between two places to stay when they’re searching for a week or longer.
The launch of these innovative features and many listings’ amenities – such as a kitchen, office space, or backyard – showcases a variety of Airbnb Stay options that suit the needs of travelers. Beyond these features, almost 50 percent of Malaysian guests surveyed also said that they chose to stay at an Airbnb listing for the convenient location, while approximately one third of guests chose to stay at an Airbnb listing for its large accommodation space and over 50 percent were looking for a private space.
Affordability continues to be key among guest preferences in Malaysia. Almost two third of the guests surveyed in Malaysia said that staying at an Airbnb listing helped them save money on accommodation. Over 50 percent of guests surveyed were able to spend more on other goods and services. This would economically benefit the local community in the neighborhood as over two third of the guests surveyed also said they have visited places recommended to them by the Host.
Those interested in learning more about how much could be earned through hosting should visit airbnb.com/host. Those interested in exploring the incredible places to stay listed across our 56 categories should visit airbnb.com or download the app.
1 Based on a survey of 87,070 Airbnb listings booked and 97,898 Airbnb guests who booked between June 1, 2021 and Dec. 31, 2021. All additional Host-centric and guest-centric survey data in this report originates from this survey.
3 Survey from Feb 1, 2021 to Mar 3, 2021 for Homes Hosts who hosted a trip during 2020, or Homes guests who took a trip during 2020.