The Malaysian Island of Penang is becoming an increasingly popular holiday destination. At the same time, the first restrictions are coming into force: short-term rentals are no longer allowed.
If you want to save money on your holiday or have a place to yourself, you often look for a tourist apartment, a holiday home, or an Airbnb.
But some popular travel destinations have already banned this type of short-term rental. Most recently, Florence suffered the consequences of too much tourism, and now the island of Penang in Malaysia is reacting.
According to the state government, Penang residents have complained that tourists repeatedly misbehave, affecting other residents in houses with Airbnb apartments. Even before the new ban, numerous signs were warning against short-term rentals.
Only commercial properties, such as serviced apartments and certain other housing types, can host short-term guests. However, owners must register and pay annual fees; at least 75 percent of residents must agree. Tourists are also restricted to three days of stay.
In response to the ban, Airbnb highlights the importance of short-term rentals in promoting tourism. According to an Airbnb survey, 74% of residents believe renting to tourists positively affects their community. The ban could also harm residents' incomes.
According to Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, the tourism industry would not be impacted, and sufficient accommodations are available to meet the growing demand.