KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 29): Airbnb entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) on Tuesday to identify and promote over 600 digital nomad-friendly DE Rantau Hub listings on Airbnb. This announcement was made at MDEC Bangsar South, and the partnership aims to establish Malaysia as a preferred hub for digital nomads in Southeast Asia.
MDEC chief executive officer Mahadhir Aziz said, “This collaboration exemplifies our unwavering commitment to driving digital transformation and enriching the digital economy. Through Airbnb’s global platform, offering diverse accommodation options to suit digital nomads’ preferences, we are poised to unlock boundless opportunities for remote workers and propel Malaysia as a leading hub for the region.”
The MOU complements MDEC's DE Rantau programme, an initiative by MDEC to promote Malaysia as a digital nomad hub in Southeast Asia, while boosting digital adoption and promoting digital professional mobility and tourism across the country. The programme provides nomad passes to foreign or local recipients, allowing them to travel and work remotely at MDEC’s nomad-ready hubs around Malaysia.
The digital nomad-friendly Airbnb listings will be located in key tourism hotspots such as Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru, Penang and Langkawi.
Meanwhile, Airbnb Asia Pacific director of public policy Steven Liew said the rise of remote work boosted by the pandemic has presented a new way of travelling.
“MDEC’s DE Rantau initiative will help encourage greater digital adoption and professional mobility while driving tourism recovery in the long term. We will continue working hand in hand with the government to ensure that travellers continue to enjoy a variety of unique stays at different price points — be it for a digital nomad travelling solo for a month, or a family enjoying a weekend getaway,” said Liew.
He shared that hosts who want to turn their properties into MDEC-certified listings will have to include high-speed internet, dedicated workspaces, and kitchen and laundry facilities that are ideal for long stays. Besides facilities, Mahadhir added that the vibrancy of the location is also essential for the benefit of the digital nomads.
MDEC currently has about 1,400 nomad-ready hubs and it aims to achieve 2,000 hubs by the end of the year, said Mahadhir.