Airbnb, MDEC Enhance Digital Nomad Travel

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Kuala Lumpur, Aug 29: Airbnb and the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) have announced a collaborative effort by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for MDEC’s inaugural DE Rantau initiative.
The partnership’s primary objective is to position Malaysia as a preferred hub for digital nomads within the region, thereby promoting extended stays and diversified travel experiences across the country.
This strategic alliance is driven by the increasing popularity of remote work and flexible travel patterns in the post-pandemic era.
According to an upcoming study commissioned by Airbnb and conducted by Oxford Economics, long-term stays (lasting 28 nights or more) through Airbnb in the Asia Pacific region have risen from 7.7 per cent of total guest nights in 2019 to 11.6 per cent in 2023.
In Malaysia, the proportion of long-term stays grew from 11.6 per cent to 18.6 per cent of total guest nights from 2019 to 2022.
Among the top three destinations for long-term stays in 2022 were Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, and Johor Bahru.
The collaboration between Airbnb and MDEC involves the identification and promotion of over 600 digital nomad-friendly DE Rantau Hub listings on Airbnb.
These listings, situated in key tourist hotspots like Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru, Penang, and Langkawi, offer amenities tailored for digital nomads such as dedicated workspaces, WiFi, kitchens, and laundry facilities, catering to extended stays of a month or more.
To bolster Malaysia’s appeal to digital nomad travelers, Airbnb has launched a dedicated landing page,, featuring all MDEC-certified remote work-friendly DE Rantau Hub listings.
This page aims to increase awareness about Malaysia’s suitability as a digital nomad-friendly destination and highlights the benefits of MDEC’s DE Rantau Pass.
Additionally, Airbnb has introduced a global Guide for Hosts, providing insights on how to create a more accommodating environment for long-term guests.
The platform will also conduct workshops for Malaysian hosts, focusing on DE Rantau and the latest trends in digital nomad travel.
Mahadhir Aziz, CEO of MDEC, expressed enthusiasm for the collaboration, asserting its potential to position Malaysia as the ASEAN region’s preferred Digital Nomad Hub, fostering economic growth and reshaping work and life dynamics in the country.
Steven Liew, Airbnb’s Asia Pacific Director of Public Policy, emphasized the alignment between Airbnb’s platform and MDEC’s DE Rantau initiative, emphasizing the positive impact on digital adoption, professional mobility, and long-term tourism recovery.
Findings from a recent survey conducted by ClearPath Strategies and commissioned by Airbnb reflect Malaysians’ optimism regarding the initiative’s benefits.
A significant majority of respondents believe that Airbnb supports remote work and long-term stays, and a majority also acknowledge its positive economic influence on neighborhoods and tourism revenue.
In line with its commitment to responsible hosting and guest behavior, Airbnb has introduced advanced reservation screening technology and a comprehensive set of ground rules for guests.
Furthermore, the platform will soon provide a strata building toolkit to Malaysian hosts, promoting responsible hosting practices in such environments.

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