New Airbnb data shows how tourism has dispersed post-pandemic

  • Typical earnings for Malaysian non-urban Airbnb Hosts increased by a third while non-urban nights booked also increased in Q2 2022, compared to Q2 2019 
  • Trending destinations outside major cities for long-term stays in the last quarter include Ipoh, Kuah, Semenyih, and Port Dickson 
  • Tourism dispersal is creating new economic opportunities for more people in emerging destinations as they look for ways to combat rising costs of living

Kuala Lumpur, 7 September 2022 — As the travel rebound continues to unfold, the benefits of tourism are spreading across the Asia Pacific. Airbnb’s latest report, ‘Further Afield: Spreading the Benefits of the Travel Revolution’,* reveals that the resurgence in domestic and inbound tourism is empowering locals to earn a living and make ends meet. 

With people continuing to embrace flexible new approaches to travel and living, communities that have traditionally missed out in the past are increasingly well-positioned to secure a bigger slice of the tourism pie. New Airbnb data reveals that the last quarter saw Ipoh, Kuah, Semenyih, and Port Dickson emerge as trending Airbnb search destinations for long-term stays (stays longer than 28 days) outside major metropolitan hubs in Malaysia.

Across the Asia Pacific, Airbnb nights booked in non-urban areas have also increased. Specifically in Malaysia, searches on Airbnb for Marang, Terengganu almost doubled in Q2 2022, up from Q2 2019 pre-pandemic. 

Across the region, this has presented fresh opportunities for locals looking to supplement their income as they grapple with rising costs of living. Notably, typical earnings for non-urban Hosts in Malaysia have grown by approximately a third. In a recent Airbnb-commissioned ClearPath Strategies survey** of Malaysians, over two thirds of respondents agreed that hosting creates an economic boost in neighborhoods, with 62 percent believing that it not only drives benefits for hosts but also businesses in the community**.

Mich Goh, Airbnb’s Head of Public Policy for Southeast Asia, India, Hong Kong and Taiwan, said: “More than two years since the start of the pandemic, we continue to see fundamental shifts in travel that are creating new opportunities for communities that lay off-the-beaten track. It’s incredibly exciting to see travelers so enthusiastic about exploring new destinations, as well as the positive economic impact cascading to locals.”

Goh added, “This ongoing dispersal of travel is empowering locals to diversify their income through hosting and build financial resilience in the face of rising costs of living. We’re committed to continuing to work together with governments and other stakeholders to keep inspiring travelers to step off the beaten path and help ensure more communities can share in the benefits of tourism.”

In addition to encouraging travelers to explore further afield through innovative search tools such as Categories and I’m Flexible, Airbnb remains committed to partnering with governments and communities in Southeast Asia. The company recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Malaysian Green Technology and Climate Change Corporation (MGTC) to jointly drive the country’s green growth agenda through a series of initiatives, including education programs relating to sustainable hospitality practices and travel habits.

Readers can view the full report here

* Airbnb-commissioned survey of 6,132 people across South Korea, India, Australia, China, Japan and the US conducted by YouGov between 13 April and 23 April, 2022. 

** Note: Based on a ClearPath Strategies survey conducted amongst 1,020 Malaysians between December 23, 2021 to January 14, 2022.


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