Airbnb has slammed calls to cap short-term rentals, saying it runs counter to the country’s goal of growing tourism and the Malaysia Productivity Corporation’s (MPC) work in lowering red tape.
“The most important and pressing issue for Malaysian tourism right now is growth,” said Airbnb head of public policy for Southeast Asia Mich Goh, reported The Sun Daily.
“How is Malaysia going to grow and diversify tourism? How is Malaysia going to reach its ambitious tourism targets by 2020?”
“Simply achieving Malaysia’s bold tourism goals is challenging enough without the added burden of unnecessary red tape. The fact is a cap on short-term rentals would be a cap on growth,” she added.
The restrictive caps mean less choices for travellers, which could eventually result to fewer travellers and tourism growth, said Goh.
“They would also hurt the Malaysian families, small businesses and communities who depend on short-term rentals. While caps may be suitable for cities with legacy housing affordability issues, they are not suitable for Malaysia which needs to grow tourism and has an oversupply of homes.”
Currently, the MPC is looking at how best to regulate short-term rentals. In fact, it has been consulting the wider industry for its draft regulatory framework.
With this, the Malaysian Association of Hotels called for a night cap on short-term rentals or a limit on the number of nights a Malaysian host may share their property within a year.
A research released by Airbnb last week, however, showed that the vast majority Malaysians support short-term rentals.
Expedition Strategies research indicated that 89 percent of Malaysians are willing to rent out their properties to other people via Airbnb, 78 percent is open to staying in short-term rentals, while 50 percent want a national approach to short-term rental regulations.