Airbnb applauds the Government’s MADANI Economy Framework to foster sustainable economic growth and resilience through targeted measures. This would provide a strong foundation for tourism promotion, further enhancing Malaysia’s appeal among international travelers ahead of Visit Malaysia Year 2026.
According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM), tourism remained one of the pillars of the economy, accounting for 14% of Malaysia’s gross national product (GDP)* in 2022. Airbnb has grown to become a key player of Malaysia’s tourism ecosystem and according to a report conducted by Oxford Economics, commissioned by Airbnb, our platform contributed over RM5 billion to Malaysian GDP and supported almost 57,000 jobs in 2022*. This accounted for approximately 4.9% of the tourism industry’s contribution to GDP in 2022.
This contribution to both the economy and jobs driven by travel on Airbnb in Malaysia has created powerful economic ripple effects that support businesses such as retailers, restaurants, bars and cafes — which are often the foundation for life in local communities — and has generated jobs that go far beyond where travellers stayed and with whom.
A survey by ClearPath Strategies revealed that over 82% of Malaysians polled said that Airbnb not only drives economic activity, but also allows locals to generate additional income***.
As a partner to the Malaysian Government, Airbnb looks forward to continuing working hand in hand to bolster the tourism economy. This includes advancing our strategic partnership with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) to establish Malaysia as a preferred digital nomad hub in the region.
Ahead of the Budget announcement on 13th October, Airbnb has shared several proposals for the Government’s consideration, including:
- Recognise the potential of the sharing economy in the hospitality sector: Short-term rental accommodations (STRA) are set to play an important role as travel continues to rebound. In the latest Clearpath Strategies survey (conducted between 8 February – 2 March 2023), 60% of Malaysians polled said they are likely to travel with Airbnb in the next 12 months while 40% are likely to host on the platform in the same period of time.** As travel rebounds, hosting on Airbnb helps many Malaysians generate an extra source of income and we encourage the federal government to support and endorse the national STRA Guidelines that are currently being developed by the relevant authorities with feedback from various tourism players. Set to be the first of its kind in Southeast Asia, these guidelines demonstrate Malaysia’s dynamism in embracing technology and innovation in tourism.
- Include STRA hosts in all key incentives given to traditional tourism players: To ensure that all tourism accommodation players can benefit from government incentives, Airbnb calls for several key incentives – currently dedicated only to traditional players in the tourism sector – to be extended to STRA Hosts (both individuals and SMEs).
- Empower young Malaysians to purchase their first homes by leveraging income generated through STRA activities: To do this, Airbnb encourages the government to leverage STRA activities as an additional income generator and set-up special initiatives in partnership with participating financial institutions. These initiatives could offer low interest financing schemes to support young Malaysians in purchasing their first property.
Airbnb stands ready as a committed partner of the Malaysian government to create and implement solutions to support the travel and tourism economy. We look forward to the tabling of Budget 2024 with the hope that Airbnb and our community can play an important role in supporting the government’s efforts towards a more sustainable future.
*Tourism Satellite Account 2022, Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM)
**This report presents results for the twelve month period up to and including March 2023, referred to as 2022*, which represents the first full year after the reopening of international travel. Prevailing exchange rates at the time of study were applied, using proprietary data from Oxford Economics.
Bank Negara Malaysia USD conversion rate as of 11 September 2023 is 4.677
***Based on data from a ClearPath Strategies survey commissioned by Airbnb that polled 1,267 respondents in Malaysia between 8 February – 2 March 2023. Click here for more information.