Airbnb launches a code of conduct to address the concerns of Malaysian hospitality players


Airbnb recently launched an industry-led code of conduct for short-term rental housing, billed as the first of its kind in Malaysia.

The initiative, along with the extension of the Neighborhood Support Line program to the coast of Malaysia, is part of the vacation rental platform’s efforts to promote safer and “cleaner” tourism. It is also in line with the country’s decision to restart domestic travel and possibly open international borders.

Airbnb (Southeast Asia) public policy officer Mich Goh said the two initiatives are timely as Malaysians resume travel amid the easing of travel restrictions.

“Our industry-first voluntary code of conduct and neighborhood helpline reinforce Airbnb’s ongoing commitment to promoting cleaner, safer and responsible travel in support of the next travel rebound. “she said.

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The voluntary code of conduct includes a set of common principles that aim to establish common industry-wide practices.

Some of the practices described include guidelines on host’s obligations to guests, guidelines on responsible guest behavior, and health and safety standards.

The Code of Conduct also specifies practices to help Hosts comply with the statutes, rules and regulations applicable to the accommodation business, including taxes.

Goh said the company will work with the government to rebuild the tourism sector. – AirbnbAccording to Goh, the company will work with the government to rebuild the tourism sector that has been hit hard by the pandemic.

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“Airbnb is committed to working hand in hand with the government to rebuild tourism and make a positive contribution to Malaysia’s economic recovery,” she said.

Between 2015 and 2019, Airbnb travelers are said to have spent a total of RM11.8 billion, with an annual growth of 79.6% in Malaysia.

Malaysian Vacation Rental Services Management Association (MVR) President Ivan Chong said the new code of conduct will be integral to the recovery of domestic tourism in the country.

“As we envision the rebound in domestic travel in Malaysia, we firmly believe that safe and responsible travel is essential (for) travel to pick up in a sustainable and long-term manner.

“Airbnb’s code of conduct sets the bar very high for short-term rental housing providers, providing clear guidelines and best practices for owners, hosts and guests,” he said.

Deal with complaints

Meanwhile, the Neighborhood Helpline makes it easier for community members to raise urgent concerns about a nearby listing directly with Airbnb.

“Around the world, the deployment of the Neighborhood Support Line in countries like the United States, Australia, Great Britain, Japan and France has proven to be an important tool in Airbnb’s efforts. to combat unauthorized gatherings and enforce the global ban on corporate parties. the company said.

With this update, neighbors can visit to request a call with a dedicated support agent. The 24-hour channel will make it easier for communities to access a rapid response team.

Airbnb’s code of conduct and hotline came amid criticism from hospitality players about the short-term rental sphere in Malaysia.

Malaysian Hotel Association chief executive Yap Lip Seng in a recent interview said unregulated home-sharing businesses would negatively impact efforts to control the pandemic.

“Since the pandemic, there have been several reports of SOP (Standard Operating Procedures) violations in these homes, including drug parties in residential areas compromising the livelihoods and safety of local communities,” a- he declared.

READ ALSO : The importance of regulating short-stay homes in Malaysia

This was a concern shared by the Vice President of the Malaysia Budget and Business Hotel Association, Dr Sri Ganesh Michiel.

“It is not fair that hotels adhere to all regulations when home sharing companies are unregulated.

“They pose a threat to the hospitality industry and so far all responsible parties have failed to resolve the issue,” he said.

Sri Ganesh said that as long as the problem of unregulated house-sharing companies persisted, the hospitality industry would not be able to achieve a significant economic recovery.

He added that the government should immediately implement the long-delayed short-term rental housing guidelines.

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