Airbnb: We are actively working with govt and stakeholders for appropriate regulations

01 Feb 2019 / 17:08 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Airbnb is actively working with the Malaysian government and multiple local stakeholders toward regulations that ensure respectful and responsible home sharing in Malaysia.

Airbnb’s Head of Public Policy for Southeast Asia, Mich Goh, said this in response to an article published on Jan 23 in which the Malaysian Association of Hotels voiced its intention to seek the regulation of home sharing businesses such as Airbnb.

Mich explained that Malaysia is one of Airbnb’s fastest growing markets and it continues to grow because locals have fully embraced the idea of home sharing.

“The reason is twofold: Malaysians see home sharing as a way to share their famous hospitality with overseas guests, while also earning important supplemental income.

Mich also explained that Airbnb helps to spotlight Malaysian tourism on the global stage while making travel accessible and affordable for more people than ever before.

“At a time when travel is 10% of the global economy and growing, Airbnb is also supporting a more healthy, sustainable form of tourism in Malaysia that is local, authentic, diverse and inclusive.

“With 44,000 listings and more than 2 million guest arrivals here last year, the Airbnb community has become a vital part of Malaysia’s tourism mix, drawing more tourists from around the world to Malaysia as their choice travel destination,“ she said.

Mich then added that Airbnb understands that new rules are needed for new technology and it believes in regulations that are clear, fair and progressive.

“This means collaborating closely with key stakeholders to facilitate understanding of the growing short-term accommodation market, and identify opportunities where Airbnb can support the hospitality industry, local communities and tourism infrastructure.

“As part of our Memorandum of Collaboration with the Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC), we have participated in feedback sessions and share key policy recommendations with the working group that is studying short-term accommodation regulation.

“We also continue to speak with authorities about implementing a Voluntary Collection Agreement (VCA) to collect and remit tourist tax at a national level,“ she said.

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