Airbnb women hosts Leading The Way Forward
Focus Malaysia 13 Mar 2019 15:32

● Women hosts in Malaysia welcomed over 912,000 guests the past year
● Malaysia’s female host demographic is expanding rapidly with 40% year-over-year growth
● Women hosts in Malaysia earned a combined RM159 million in 2018

In conjunction with International Women’s Day, Airbnb revealed at a panel discussion entitled “Powered by Women: The Growth of Malaysia Digital Tourism” that Malaysian female Airbnb hosts welcomed over 912,000 guests in 2018. Additionally, Airbnb also shared that –
● Women hosts on Airbnb earned a combined RM159 million in 2018, a 50% increase from the past year.
● The number of women hosts also grew by 40% in 2018.
● Women hosts on Airbnb make up almost 50% of all hosts in Malaysia, and earn a typical annual income of RM5,793.94.

*For more information about women hosts of Airbnb, do refer to the Background section at the end of the press

The advent of technology has opened up multiple opportunities for female hospitality entrepreneurs who are passionate about driving a creative and meaningful tourism industry. The opportunities of the Airbnb platform now go beyond home hosting to Airbnb Experiences -- unique, one-of-a-kind activities that are handcrafted and led by local experts showcasing a unique side of Malaysia. The growth of Airbnb Experiences has enabled more women to become entrepreneurs by sharing their passions and skills, and they make up 60.2% of all local Experience hosts on the platform.

Mich Goh, Airbnb’s Head of Public Policy for Southeast Asia says, “We are thrilled to share that in 2018 alone, women around the world have made RM 49 billion and represent more than half of the global Airbnb community. In Malaysia, our community of women is entrepreneurial and passionate, using Airbnb as a platform to not only showcase local tourism in a diverse and authentic way, but also to achieve greater economic security and independence.”

“While Airbnb cannot single-handedly break down the barriers that many women face both in the workplace and in everyday life, we hope that our platform encourages more women to be a part of Visit Malaysia 2020. By creating a seamless online platform to enable magical offline connections, Airbnb is helping to digitise tourism for a more inclusive, accessible and sustainable way forward. Airbnb is privileged to support women empowerment through our platform, and we actively celebrate and uplift our community of women hosts around the world. Not just this month, but every day.”

Together with four Malaysian key industry leaders, Airbnb reinforced its support for female hospitality entrepreneurs and the local Malaysian community who have found greater financial, professional, and social empowerment as entrepreneurs in digital tourism during the panel discussion. Panellists include -
● Low Ngai Yuen, President of Kakiseni, Founder of WOMENgirls and CEO of eFM.Live, says, “Harnessing technology and innovation is key to ensuring arts and culture continue to be relevant and a part of every Malaysian’s life. Women are at the forefront of driving that change in tourism, making it more meaningful and inclusive. Kakiseni, a non-profit for the promotion of arts and culture, also lists traditional Malay dance workshops and art gallery tours on Airbnb, which aims to provide international travellers access to Malaysia’s heritage and culture. For Social Impact Experiences, Airbnb waives all fees and ensures that 100% of the proceeds go directly to the non-profit supported by each Experience.”
● Elena Shim, Airbnb Experience Host, Founder of Bike with Elena and Volunteer at Rimba Ilmu and Malaysia Nature Society, says, “Every day, I wake up feeling excited knowing that I’m showing both travellers and locals the community of Malaysia’s backyard. Through cycling and sharing more about Klang Valley and the secret gem spots within the city, it supports an appreciation for a sustainable type of tourism.”
● Eliza Thomas, Editor at Zafigo, says, “With the rise of solo female travellers, it’s no surprise that women are now passionate about travelling off-the-beaten path in search for a fulfilling and authentic travel experience. Whether it’s connecting with fellow travellers or your local Airbnb host, it’s important for women to be part of a community aimed to inspire and empower each other through informed and independent travel.”

In Malaysia, Airbnb signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) focused on promoting digital inclusion and empowering local hospitality entrepreneurs. With the surge in popularity around hosting Airbnb Experiences, Airbnb’s training workshops supported local female guides who are keen to creatively leverage Airbnb’s global platform for tourism promotion.

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