Hosting on Airbnb gains momentum in Malaysia amidst growing appetite for tr

  • New Airbnb survey shows that 43 percent of Malaysian homeowners surveyed have considered hosting on Airbnb to take advantage of the new appetite for travel
  • Desire for travel remains strong despite rising costs of living, with more than one third of Malaysians polled saying they will continue to find ways to travel
  • Travelers are more flexible about when and where they travel, and this continues to shape their choice of accommodation 

Kuala Lumpur, 30 November 2022 — As the holiday season awaits and the travel rebound continues to unfold, more Malaysians are turning to hosting on Airbnb for additional income. A new survey commissioned by Airbnb* reveals that 43 percent of homeowners in Malaysia surveyed have considered hosting to take advantage of the new appetite for travel.  

Around the world, Airbnb has seen strong growth rates of new Hosts, especially in countries with high inflation rates. Notably, 85 percent of Malaysians polled said they were looking for ways to offset rising costs of living. The survey also shows that desire for travel remains high, with more than one third of respondents saying that they will continue to find ways to travel even if general costs of living rise. 

In a trend that started since the pandemic, millions are now enjoying their newfound freedom to live and work anywhere. Notably, over two thirds of Malaysians polled indicated that they were now more flexible about their holiday type and time of travel. More than one in four also said they were more open to travelling at off-peak times.

This new approach to travel and living continues to shape the choice of accommodation among Malaysian travellers. When asked about factors that influence when and how they travel:

  • 47 percent said it depends whether they can find accommodations that make longer stays easy and comfortable.
  • 39 percent pointed to destinations with unique accommodations
  • More than a quarter prioritised access to amenities that make combining remote work and travel easy, such as a dedicated workspace and a fast, reliable internet connection 

Mich Goh, Airbnb’s Head of Public Policy for Southeast Asia, India, Hong Kong and Taiwan, said the fundamental shifts towards flexible travel point to the increasingly important role that short-term accommodations (STRA) like Airbnb play in the new era of travel. 

“Hosting on Airbnb continues to be an important source of income for millions around the world including everyday Malaysians, especially during a cost of living crisis. We are fully committed to working with the government to ensure a clear, simple and effective national framework for STRA, to pave the way for more Malaysians to host with us and have a share in the benefits of tourism,” she added. 

A new wave of Malaysians is becoming first-time Airbnb Hosts. Sarah Othman, who lives in Selangor, is one of them. Her decision to start hosting was initially inspired by her own experience as a guest but it came at a critical time. When her daughter was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes, Sarah’s medical insurance could not cover all of the necessary equipment. The extra boost in income from hosting helped her cover the cost of her daughter’s treatment and needs. 

Superhosts Izam Yamin and his wife Zana bought their studio apartment and started welcoming guests into the stylishly decorated unit in July 2022. “The income we earn covers our mortgage and children’s tuition fees. It has also given Zana the freedom to quit her full-time job to focus on the family while she figures out where she wants to work next,” they shared. 

To ensure that Airbnb continues to support its community of Hosts and the ongoing travel revolution, Airbnb recently announced new features including more AirCover for Hosts. It also announced Airbnb Setup – an all-new easy way for people to Airbnb their Homes comprising one-on-one guidance from a Superhost, an experienced guest for your first booking and specialized support from Airbnb. 

*Based on an online survey of 1057 respondents in Malaysia commissioned by Airbnb and conducted by YouGov between 5-9 October 2022