Airbnb Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan country manager
Bennu House, Ubud in Bali

FOR those whose houses or apartments are untenanted, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

If you are finding it difficult to secure a permanent tenant for your property, there are other ways to leverage it. You can either rent out individual rooms, or list your property on Airbnb to make some easy extra cash.

The concept of Airbnb has given a new meaning to home-sharing and travel experience since it was founded in 2008.

It has enabled people to lease or rent short-term lodging from a simple shack, apartment, homestay, hostel beds and hotel rooms, to a luxury castle.

Airbnb Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan country manager Robin Kwok said besides providing a new avenue for homeowners to earn rental income from their properties, the founders of this vacation rental service have helped people to live anywhere in the world and within their budget.

She said most of the travellers who opted for the Airbnb service were those who wanted to experience life like the locals.

According to Kwok, Airbnb has more than three million property listings in over 191 countries and a bulk of the accommodation is located out of the traditional tourism business districts where there are no hotels operating.

“These are areas that don’t get attention or tourism benefits. Our aim is to unlock the hidden gems of each area,” said Kwok.

An example of a property that is located out of the traditional tourism business district is Bennu House, which is set on a 4.9ha fertile agricultural land in Ubud, Bali.

Another is a bungalow@Villa Nangka in Lombok, Indonesia. Villa Nangka is sheltered within the rainforests of Gili Air, a popular diving spot and part of a trio of islands renowned for its diverse marine life.

Kwok said since Airbnb was set up, travellers coming to Malaysia and using the services have risen by more than 250 per cent in the past year.

She said Ipoh in Perak was the top city they had visited.

“We are also seeing more Malaysians who are interested to travel abroad and experience what it is like to be at a certain neighbourhood or eat the local delicacies,” said Kwok, adding that outbound growth was 170 per cent in the past year.

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