Penang Airbnb hosts all set to cash in on holiday tourists boom


  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 31 Dec 2019

GEORGE TOWN: Airbnb hosts on Penang island are already gearing for the influx of tourists with an eye on the festive stretch between New Year and Chinese New Year.

Many operators are expecting rates to peak during this period, especially Chinese New Year, which is traditionally a popular time to travel for those in China.

Property owner Felicia Kuan, 42, who rents out her condominium in Butterworth for about RM300 per night, said a RM100 price increase during peak seasons comes with benefits, especially for customers in large numbers.

“My unit is a two-bedroom condominium facing the sea located on a high floor and customers often opt for my property due to the scenic views.

“I’m usually strict with the number of occupants who are allowed to stay but it is understandable that during holidays, they will usually bring extra family members or friends to gather, hence the higher price, ” she said.

The high cost of hiring cleaners during the festive period has led retiree Jared Khor, 58, who owns two condominium units near Gurney Drive, to increase his rental by 30%.

Khor said a main reason for the increase was because the maid agencies charged extra for their workers to clean up the units.

“The usual rate on a normal weekend is about RM300 per unit, which accommodates six person.

“But on festive periods such as Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year, I’m charging about RM450. Sometimes, if I can’t get cleaners during a holiday, I have to go there and clean up the place myself, ” he said.

Although most properties surveyed are increasing prices, there are still some who maintain their prices.

Financial planner Adele Khor, 28, who owns an apartment in Jalan Masjid Negeri, said she rents out each room for RM750.

“But I only take in long-staying tenants, such as those who are working or on for their internship period. Since they are renting the rooms for long periods, I’ve not increased the rates just because of a few holidays. It is a bonus for them, ” she said.

Checks on the Airbnb website found over 300 properties listed in Penang with prices ranging from RM41 per night for a bedroom with a shared bathroom near Lebuh Maccallum to RM8,000 per night for a waterfront condominium with a scenic view of the sea.

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