Senior citizens turn Airbnb hosts to make ends meet

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 20 Oct 2018

PETALING JAYA: Senior citizens are making extra money to cope with the rising cost of living through Airbnb as more than RM5.6mil was earned through renting out their homes on its platform, says the home-sharing service.

The company said it had enabled more than 800 seniors in Malaysia aged 60 and older to earn the amount, welcoming 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 in a statement yesterday.

It added that according to its survey, more than 50% from that age group found hosting helped them to stay in their homes while 41% said they relied on their Airbnb income to make ends meet.

Its 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 Apac, and look forward to continuing to embrace this vibrant and much-loved community,” he said.

Airbnb said senior hosts were a fast-growing group in Malaysia, with a year-on-year growth of 51.37% from 584 senior hosts in September 2017 to 884 in September 2018.

“In addition, senior hosts are also the best-rated in Malaysia with more than 76.3% of reviews of senior hosts receiving five stars,” it said.

Besides hosting, the statement said, there had also been an in­­creased growth in senior Malaysian travellers.

It said across Malaysia, the number of seniors who booked on Airbnb grew more than 86.84% in the past year from September 2017, thus making them the fastest growing guest age group in the country.

Senior citizens, it also noted, most frequently used the platform to visit Australia, followed by Britain, Japan, New Zealand, United States, Thailand, Italy, Taiwan, South Korea and Indonesia.

The statement added that Johor Baru was the highest-rated trending destination as it saw 101.32% of senior travellers visiting the state.

This was followed by Ipoh (71.16%), Melaka (63.51%), Kota Kinabalu (60.54%) and Kuala Lumpur (46.73%).

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