Decision by task force on Airbnb next year: Tourism D-G

21 Nov 2019 / 19:08 H.

GEORGE TOWN: The task force on short-term residential accommodation Airbnb will announce its decision by early next year to avoid the hotels from experiencing severe dip in occupancy rate.

Tourism Malaysia director-general Datuk Musa Yusof said the task force was set up to regulate Airbnb accommodations nationwide and would take note of examples from other countries such as France, Singapore and Japan.

“We will look into the issue. What we have implemented through the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry and the agency under the Housing and Local Government Ministry, is that we already set up a task force to look at what other countries have implemented in terms of Airbnb-type rentals.

“We expect to announce the decision early next year and it needs to be regulated. For example, in some locations, Airbnb accommodations are allowed but not in the big cities where there are hotels available,” he told reporters after launching the Visit Malaysia (VMY) 2020 Kick Off conference, here today.

He said this in response to complaints made by hoteliers who claimed of experiencing a decline in occupancy rate despite the high number of tourists arriving in the country as most of them were choosing Airbnb.

Musa said to address the problem, the committee would continue to discuss the issue to find suitable solution.

“The concept of Airbnb in Europe and the US are different than it is in Asia. The Airbnb accommodations that I used to stay at, either in Europe or in the US, the guests stayed with the hosts, and we already have this concept here for the past 30 years and we call it homestay. Homestay is more for the experiences while Airbnb is more of an accommodation. Only in Malaysia, the visitors are not staying with the owner and this will be regulated,” he said.

He said the matter would be looked at as a whole as there were several joint management bodies had disallowed Airbnb to operate in the condominium building as it was viewed as disruption.

Meanwhile, commenting on the conference, he said it was launched to further promote the promotional activities of the VMY 2020 campaign in the northern states. - Bernama

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