HOTEL OCCUPANCY RATE DURING RMCO
“Recovering But Still Critical”
Wisma MAH, Ampang (16 July 2020) – The occupancy rate of hotels took centre stage yesterday after various media misquoted the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture’s parliamentary reply, that “hotel occupancy is between 75% to 100%”, citing MOTAC’s data received from the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) and others.
The media reports caused much anxiety among industry stakeholders especially the hotel industry that had been badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic since as early as January 2020. These reports, however, upon clarification through video recording of the Minister’s speech in Parliament, were inaccurate.
YB Dato Sri Hajah Nancy binti Shukri, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture of Malaysia in the recording said “adanya 75%, adanya 100%”, in reference to occupancy rates of certain hotels and not on average occupancy of hotels in the country.
MAH had in fact earlier, submitted hotel occupancy reports compiled from its thirteen chapters across the country to MOTAC, with an average occupancy of 21.5%. The national hotel association had also observed high occupancy over the last weekends at selected destinations and hotels such as Melaka, Penang, Port Dickson as well as Kelantan, Pulau Redang and Pulau Perhentian.
Some of the states that had experienced high average occupancy for the month of July, signalling the return of domestic tourism are Terengganu and Kelantan at 70% and 75% respectively.
“Higher occupancy recorded at these destinations is likely temporary and seasonal, with locals taking advantage of the weekend before school reopens. Main cities and states such as Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Johor, Sabah as well as Kedah and Perlis are still low, with average occupancy between 12% to 20% at best,” said Yap Lip Seng, Chief Executive Officer of MAH.
The industry is working closely together with MOTAC and Tourism Malaysia on initiatives to drive domestic tourism, as well as to create awareness on the RM1,000 personal income tax relief for Malaysians on domestic tourism expenses at registered hotels, for year 2020 and 2021.
“Malaysians should also take advantage of the current Service Tax (SST) exemption at hotels on top of attractive deals and promotions,” Yap added.
Earlier this month MAH also launched the “Clean & Safe Malaysia” hygiene and safety certification program for hotels, the only one so far that is supported by MOTAC, and it is the benchmark of hygiene and safety standards for the hotel industry of Malaysia. Tourist both local and international can look forward to staying at these hotels with peace of mind.