On Legalising Airbnb in Singapore

It's that time of the year when people pack their bags in search of the snow again. How ironic it is that while we're flying northwards, the people from up there are moving downwards towards the equator for a warmer winter. I guess the grass is always greener on the other side.

This holiday, I have heard from many friends about their Airbnb stays overseas. Some have had good experiences, while some have indifferent hosts whom they have never met in person. Idk which of these options are better, since personally, I'd like it if I had a local to talk to and who could bring me around, but living with someone may mean more restrictions. Especially on my behaviour, heh. My parents think I am a disaster at home, which I agree is totally different from my prim and proper image I try to upkeep when there are other people around. For example, I don't comb my hair after I bathe. I only comb my hair when I am going out or when there are visitors.

Recently, the Singapore govt has also been looking into legalising the Airbnb business in condominiums and HDB flats through clearer regulations on short-term rental. For those who are staying home this Christmas season, Airbnb may sound like a welcomed option to provide an extra income for those who have an spare bed around their homes, and even physical company for those living alone. But I feel that Singaporeans may not yet be culturally ready to provide such a service.

Many Singaporeans think that Singapore is too small, and that there isn't much to do around here for the tourists. They complain about almost everything at all, and have even been ranked the unhappiest people on the planet, although they do suddenly become the happiest people on a different scale, but that's another story for another day.


Airbnb services encourage close contact between locals and tourists. However, an image of unhappiness should not be what we want to portray to our guests. Instead, we should be proud of our nation and culture. Many people who see Airbnb solely for its economic motives fail to take this into account. Singaporeans have to learn to be appreciative of what we have before we can even begin to show it off to others. Otherwise, it may still be better for the tourists to stay in the hotels and take in the carefully constructed image of wealth and prosperity.