Airbnb, the world’s leading community-driven hospitality company has enabled over 800 seniors in Malaysia aged 60 and older to earn more than RM5.6 million through hosting on Airbnb, and welcomed over 26,700 guests from around the world in the past year.
The additional income that comes with hosting guests on Airbnb can help many seniors cope with the increasing cost of living and health care, as well as letting them stay in their homes by covering housing costs or paying for needed renovations. A global survey of Airbnb hosts found that close to half of the senior age group said that hosting has helped them afford to stay in their homes, and 41% say they rely on their Airbnb income to make ends meet.
“Being an Airbnb Host is fulfilling as I get to meet different people from all over the world and also keep myself occupied physically and mentally, especially since I’ve been semi-retired for five years now. Besides that, hosting on Airbnb has also helped improve my financials, as I now have access to both local and international travellers,” said Lee, a 78-year-old Airbnb Host based in Ipoh, Perak.
Siew Kum Hong, Airbnb Regional Director, APAC, says, “Airbnb is proud to be a platform that provides authentic, sustainable and diverse opportunities for travelers 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.”
Malaysia’s Hospitable Senior Hosts are The Most Loved
The senior host cohort, which is an integral part of the Airbnb community, is a fast growing group in Malaysia, with a year-on-year growth of 51.37% from 584 senior hosts in September 2017 to 884 senior hosts in September 2018. In addition, senior hosts are also the best-rated hosts in Malaysia with more than 76.30% of reviews of senior hosts receiving five stars.
The Growing Popularity of Airbnb for Seniors Globally
Globally, senior hosts are the fastest-growing of any age group of hosts on Airbnb, and there are now over 400,000 senior hosts on Airbnb worldwide. In 2017, seniors hosts around the world earned over $2 billion (USD), hosted over 13.5 million guest arrivals at their listings, and welcomed travellers from over 150 countries.
Senior guests are also the fastest-growing of any age group on Airbnb globally, with the number of seniors who have booked on the platform growing 66% in the past year.
Malaysia’s Active Senior Guests and Trending Destinations
Aside from just being hosts, there has also been an increased growth in senior Malaysian travellers. Across Malaysia, the number of seniors who have booked on Airbnb grew more than 86.84% in the past year from September 2017 to 2018, making them the fastest growing guest age group in the country.
The fact that the senior group is increasingly turning to Airbnb points to a shift away from more traditional forms of travel, like cruises and resorts, to travel that provides greater access to and belonging in local communities.
Multi-generational Travel on the Rise
Seniors are also at the forefront of a growing trend in Airbnb bookings: multi-generational family travel, where the booking guest is a senior travelling with children or an infant. In contrast to other accommodation options, Airbnb homes often provide amenities that make them ideal for family getaways: kitchens, shared dining spaces, and individual bedrooms and bathrooms.
This is an accelerating trend on Airbnb: multigenerational family travel bookings have grown 75% in the past year. And in 2018, over half of these multi-generational bookings have been by first-time bookers new to the Airbnb community. In Malaysia, multigenerational family travel bookings have grown 72% in the past year.