PETALING JAYA: Despite calls by the government for unlicensed hotels and Airbnb operators to register with the authorities or face legal action, the mechanism for registration seems to be up in the air.
Airbnb said there were currently no registration forms for its hosts to register their properties with municipal authorities.
Registration forms are only available for hotels, which do not apply to Airbnb properties.
This was despite amendments having been recently made to the Tourism Industry Act to extend registration requirements to all homes, said Airbnb.
“Registration processes are currently being updated to reflect this expansion. Once MOTAC’s (Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry) new registration process is in place, we will work to inform hosts of the registration requirements, as we have done with DBKL (Kuala Lumpur City Hall) last year and in hundreds of jurisdictions around the world,” Airbnb said in a statement.
On Feb 14, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi had urged unlicensed hotel operators and those offering vacation rental services on Airbnb to register immediately or risk legal action.
Mohamaddin also said the ministry was actively tracking down unlicensed operators.
“We have worked with governments around the world to craft and implement regulations that ensure respectful and responsible home sharing, and we are committed to doing the same in Malaysia.
“We also continue to work with authorities on collecting and remitting a broad-based tourist tax at a national level,” Airbnb added.
Airbnb said it had also taken part in feedback sessions and shared key policy recommendations with the Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC), which has been tasked to review existing business regulations in the tourism sector and has a working group studying short-term accommodation regulation.