Monday, January 30

Airbnb hopes for tourism boosts from Budget 2023


Mich Goh

KUCHING (Sept 23): As part of its Budget 2023 Wishlist, Airbnb Malaysia hopes the government can introduce several initiatives to excite local tourism as the ongoing travel rebound presents new opportunities for local communities to benefit from and participate in the country’s economic recovery

One suggestion it made was to establish a clear and practical national regulatory framework for short term rental accommodation (STRA).

“Airbnb calls on the government to recognise STRA activities and enforce a clear, coherent and consistent national STRA framework,” commented Mich Goh, Airbnb’s head of public policy for Southeast Asia, India, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

“A recent Airbnb survey revealed that almost 60 percent of Hosts in Malaysia utilise their earnings from hosting to cover increasing costs of living including rising expenses for food and other necessities.

“Introducing a clear STRA regulatory framework drives the next level of growth for the STRA sector, and recognises local micro tourism entrepreneurs and the broader industry as key contributors to the country’s economy.”

Other suggestions include introducing green incentives for the tourism industry.

“The tourism industry plays a crucial role in supporting the government’s aspiration to achieve net-carbon neutrality by 2050,” Goh added.

“Airbnb encourages the government to introduce green incentives, such as special grants to travel operators to reduce their carbon footprint, to accelerate the adoption of green practices among industry players and position Malaysia as an appealing ecotourism destination.

“We strongly hope that the initiatives tabled in Budget 2023 will benefit all tourism industry players – including our community of Malaysian Hosts, many of whom are everyday Malaysians and micro-hospitality entrepreneurs.

“We stand ready as a committed partner to the government to create and implement solutions that support the travel and tourism economy, towards spurring greater revitalization of the tourism industry.”