KUALA LUMPUR: Airbnb’s guest community spent at least an estimated RM583 million (US$144 million) at restaurants and cafes in Malaysia in 2018, according to new survey findings and an analysis of internal data released today.
The company said if spending levels remained the same, Airbnb guests were estimated to spend over RM878 million (US$212 million) at restaurants and cafes in the country in 2019.
“The influx of tourism spending by Airbnb guests at restaurants and cafes is being felt around the world.
“For many travelers, belonging means experiencing a place through local foods and flavors by learning to cook a traditional recipe or discovering neighborhood restaurants and cafes, all while creating authentic memories and connections to a destination,” it said in a statement.
In 2018, Airbnb guests around the world spent US$25 billion in restaurants and cafes.
Across Asia, Airbnb guests spent at least an estimated US$2.4 billion at restaurants and cafes in 2018, including over US$212 million in Thailand, US$116 million in Indonesia, US$116 million in the Philippines, and US$58 million in Singapore.
“There is no better way to learn about the rich culture of Malaysia than by discovering the abundance of food and flavors that this nation has to offer.
“Through Airbnb, we can promote economic opportunity for hosts and the neighborhoods that welcome them, particularly local food establishments and support the Ministry of Tourism’s RM100 billion tourism receipt target,” said Airbnb Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan general manager Mike Orgill.
The company said unique aspects of the Airbnb community are helping to drive this spending to new places, forge offline connections and keep the benefits local.
Other highlights from Airbnb’s findings include that 84 per cent of Airbnb hosts said they recommended restaurants and cafes to guests, driving more people to visit places they might not otherwise discover online.
Besides that, Airbnb’s guest community spent at least an estimated RM583 million (US$144 million) at restaurants and cafes in Malaysia in 2018 on average.
The guest spending at restaurants and cafes is based on Airbnb internal data covering 46 countries and regions and 14,000 responses to a voluntary survey sent to a sample of Airbnb guest accounts that had taken a trip in 2018.