Airbnb helps homestay owners spread their network

National 1 minute, 48 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

SOME homestay owners in Brunei are opening up to online listings such as Airbnb to reach a wider market across the world.

Airbnb is an online community marketplace that connects people looking to rent their homes or rooms to people looking for accommodation. Its users include hosts and travellers from 192 countries worldwide.

According to the website, there are 50 rentals in Brunei that range from private homes to apartment complexes and also, homestays.

Owner of Telamba Homestay located in Tutong, Leney Hj Mohd Daud, said she started using the online listing in 2011 as advised by her child.

“Before Airbnb, we relied on mouth-to-mouth publicity hoping that people would help give good recommendations to others about our homestay. At the time we were frequented by students doing research and our business did not have a lot of exposure,” she said in an interview.

To date, the homestay has received guests from 32 countries with Airbnb users taking up the bulk of guests from more than 20 countries. “I believe that it has paid off for us. Our business grew especially since guests are required by the website to leave reviews of our homestay.

Alhamdulillah, most of them have been positive and most of our guests have told us that they decided to stay at our homestay because of the positive reviews given by previous guests,” added Leney.

She said those looking into entering the homestay business should consider signing up with the online listing as it would open up the market for them.

Meanwhile, the owner of Baitul Wajihah Homestay located at Kg Wasan said he uses both Airbnb and TripAdvisor to advertise his homestay.

Alhamdulillah, we have received more guests with this online presence. I feel that it has helped not only us but also opened up Brunei to travellers who have yet to hear much about our country,” said Hj Muslin Hj Salim.

“We have received quite a lot of bookings and it really helps to give tourism the boost that it needs. Other homestays that have yet to use these kinds of services should consider it to open up the market and help their businesses.”

The Brunei Times