by NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK/ pic by AFP
THE country’s tourism industry is showing signs of recovery with Airbnb’s overall guest bookings increasing by 190% month-on-month (MoM).
Airbnb Asia Pacific regional director Kum Hong Siew said the accommodation application can once again play its role as a strong contributor to the sector and economy recovery.
“We are already seeing early positive signs of domestic travel getting ready to make a comeback, driven by locals booking holidays that are closer to home.
“This latest data reinforces our belief that travellers are increasingly looking for more local, authentic and affordable experiences,” he said in a statement yesterday.
He added that tourism is a key driver of economic growth in Malaysia and plays an important role in its overall recovery.
“We are committed to working hand in hand with the government, tourism agencies, communities and other key local stakeholders in Malaysia to help restore travel in a responsible way that economically benefits local citizens and small businesses, paving the way towards tourism’s much-needed recovery,” he said.
With the announcement of the Recovery Movement Control Order, travel restrictions across the country have been lifted and positive signs are showing for the domestic travel industry in the coming weeks and months.
In the data revealed by Airbnb, 93% of the total bookings made on its platform are for domestic destinations, with 64% of the locations booked in non-urban locations including Cameron Highlands, Kuala Terengganu and Port Dickson.
Based on recent booking dates, destinations over the last month were Kuala Lumpur, Johor Baru and Penang, and to tap into the demand for nearby trips, Airbnb targets to update its application and homepage to feature local trip ideas and nearby getaways for guests.
Last year, its host and guest community in Malaysia contributed RM3.7 billion in direct economic impact, in tandem with its direct economic impact in 30 top markets at US$117 billion (RM501 billion), a 17% increase against the previous year.