Senior citizens are making ends meet by opening their homes to visitors via Airbnb, and earning more than RM5.6mil in the process in the past 12 months.
In a statement on Friday (Oct 19), Airbnb said the company had enabled more than 800 seniors in Malaysia, aged 60 and older, to earn some additional income.
It also helped Malaysia to welcome over 26,700 guests from all over the world.
“The additional income that comes with hosting guests on Airbnb can help many seniors cope with the increasing cost of living and healthcare, as well as letting them stay in their homes by covering housing costs or paying for needed renovations,” it said.
The company said its survey showed that more than 50% from the senior age group found that hosting helped made it affordable for them afford to stay on in their homes, while 41% said they relied on their Airbnb income to make ends meet.
Airbnb Asia Pacific (Apac) regional director Siew Kum Hong said it was proud to be a platform that provided authentic, sustainable and diverse opportunities for travellers from all walks of life.
“We are especially pleased to see dynamic travel trends for both senior hosts and guests in Asia Pacific, and look forward to continuing to embrace this vibrant and much-loved community,” he said.
Airbnb said senior hosts are a fast-growing group in Malaysia, with a year-on-year growth of 51.37%, going from 584 senior hosts in September 2017 to 884 in September 2018.
“In addition, senior hosts are also the best-rated hosts in Malaysia with more than 76.3% of reviews of senior hosts receiving five stars,” the company said.
Besides hosting, the statement said, there had also been a growth in senior Malaysian travellers.
It said across Malaysia, the number of seniors who have booked on Airbnb grew more than 86.84% in the one year from September 2017, thus, making them the fastest growing guest age group in the country.
It said senior citizens most frequently used the platform to visit Australia, followed by the United Kingdom, Japan, New Zealand, United States, Thailand, Italy, Taiwan, Korea and Indonesia.
The statement also said that Johor Baru was the highest rated trending destination. It saw 101.32% of senior travellers going to the state.
Ipoh (71.16%) came in second, followed by Malacca (63.51%), Kota Kinabalu (60.54%), and Kuala Lumpur (46.73%).
Airbnb said it was also seeing multi-generational family travel on the rise, with travel bookings having grown 72% in the past year.