Malay Mail Online

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Home sharing should be legalised in Kota Kinabalu — Airbnb

OCTOBER 23 — We refer to the Borneo Post article titled “Airbnb illegal in Sabah — lawyer” published online on October 15, 2017.

Home sharing brings great benefits to Sabah, generating significant economic activity and promoting a new kind of tourism that benefits locals and diverse communities.

In 2016 alone, 65,000 visitors to Sabah stayed in an Airbnb listing, choosing home sharing because they were looking for a more unique and authentic experience, and wanted to see Sabah through the eyes of a local.

Far from being a commercial activity, a typical Airbnb host in Sabah shares their home for 22 nights per year, earning an average of USD 1,500 per year.

We know from speaking to our hosts that this supplemental income plays an important role in helping them cover their bills and make ends meet.

We want to be a positive force in every city and community we operate in, and we’re proud of the way we’ve collaborated with policymakers in hundreds of jurisdictions around the world.

Places as diverse as Japan, London, Chicago and Tasmania having now passed fair and progressive rules for home sharing.

Airbnb operates legally in all the cities cited in the original article, and will be taking part in Singapore’s public consultation later this year; said Mich Goh, Airbnb’s Head of Public Policy for Southeast Asia.

We know that every city is unique and has its own set of challenges and priorities – we’re not looking to implement a one-size-fits-all approach. What works in Tokyo may not work in Chicago, and what suits New South Wales might not be right for Sabah. That’s why we strive to work closely with governments and policymakers in every city we operate in, to develop clear regulatory frameworks that allow everyone to benefit from home sharing, while addressing local needs.

We look forward to having meaningful and productive discussions with authorities in Sabah, and to participating in Kota Kinabalu City Hall’s consultation process. We hope to work closely with the relevant stakeholders to develop the right framework to allow home sharing to thrive, to Sabah’s immediate and long-term benefit.

* This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail Online.