Airbnb has hailed the Malaysian government’s efforts to provide financial relief for tourism businesses affected by the pandemic, and proposed that these incentives be extended to short-term rental accommodation hosts.
These incentives include the postponement of tax instalment payments to affected businesses in the tourism sector, a RM1 billion (US$233.7 million) Penjana tourism financing (PTF) facility to finance transformation initiatives in the sector, a one-off RM600 payment and RM1,000 tax relief for domestic tourism expenses, and digital vouchers of up to RM100 to all Malaysians for domestic tourism purposes to be enabled for Airbnb bookings.
Airbnb head of public policy (South-east Asia), Mich Goh, said in a press statement: “Airbnb has proposed to the Malaysian government several policy recommendations for consideration to help everyday people and small business operators whose financial security has been put at risk by the Covid-19 epidemic.”
Goh said that as many affected Airbnb hosts rely on booking income to help pay their mortgages, the government should also consider extending the moratorium on loan repayments at least until December.
Airbnb had also proposed that the one-off cash assistance given to e-hailing drivers, be extended to Airbnb hosts.
Goh added that Airbnb was committed to supporting the government in weathering the Covid-19 pandemic. She said: “Since the start of the global pandemic, we activated our extenuating circumstances policy globally, allowing guests and hosts to cancel reservations penalty-free.”