Kuala Lumpur, July 14: According to the latest data from Airbnb, global tourism faced unprecedented disruption due to the pandemic.
However, Airbnb is now experiencing a strong rebound in both international and domestic guest arrivals across the region. Since the reopening of cross-border travel in China, Chinese travelers are increasingly exploring a wider range of destinations, including Malaysia, which saw a remarkable 10-fold increase in guest searches on Airbnb compared to the previous year.
Chinese guests searching for early summer outbound stays on Airbnb during July 1-15 surged almost sixfold compared to last year, with around half of their searches for medium to long-term stays of seven days or longer.
Malaysia ranked among the top 10 most searched countries and regions for summer travel by Chinese Airbnb guests, along with Thailand, Japan, Korea, and Australia.
While international travel is rebounding across Southeast Asia, domestic tourism remains extremely popular among local travelers.
In Malaysia, domestic nights booked on Airbnb increased by nearly 60 in 2022 compared to 2019. Similarly, Indonesia saw a growth of almost 45 per cent in domestic nights booked on Airbnb, while Thailand experienced an approximately 35 per cent increase.
Amanpreet Bajaj, Airbnb’s General Manager for Southeast Asia, India, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, highlighted the resilience and positive economic impact of domestic tourism during times of crisis. Weekend trips to nearby destinations are not only easier to plan but also more affordable, and Airbnb provides a variety of affordable accommodation options in new destinations, enabling guests to explore more places.
Airbnb’s presence is spreading to new towns and cities, with hosts and guests becoming key drivers of economic activity in Southeast Asia.
Since March 2020, over 13,000 towns and cities worldwide have received their first booking on Airbnb.
Data also shows that guests booking stays using Airbnb’s flexible search features are less likely to stay in popular destinations compared to those using traditional search methods.
Approximately 1 in 20 stays on Airbnb are booked using flexible search features.
In Kuala Lumpur, flexible bookers are more inclined to stay outside of the city rather than in the popular district of Bukit Bintang. Bajaj emphasized that distributed travel, which disperses guests, income, and tourism benefits to new and trending destinations, is beneficial for local economies and communities, as opposed to concentrated tourism in popular places.
Airbnb is actively working on solutions to address the challenges posed by mass tourism while simultaneously helping guests discover new communities and generating additional income streams for locals.
Throughout Southeast Asia, Airbnb is playing a role in dispersing guests, income, and tourism benefits beyond the typical hotspots to new and emerging destinations.
Welcome to dailystraits.com. Please send all interview requests and press releases to firstname.lastname@example.org.