Hoteliers call for govt incentive for people to visit Penang

Hotels in Penang remain closed under the movement control order which has caused a drastic drop in tourism.

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang state government has been urged to provide some travel incentives to visitors so that Penang will be the first choice of destination for them after the restrictions of the movement control order have ended.

Malaysian Association of Hotels Penang chapter chairman Khoo Boo Lim said the tourism industry here suffered a drastic drop in business because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We expect tourism to be one of the last industries to pick up, so I’d like to propose to the state government to provide some travel incentives to visitors ” he said.

He said MAH also welcomed the state government’s efforts to waive hotel fees on guests, as well as any support and exemptions to aid the recovery of business, he said.

State executive councillor Yeoh Soon Hin said commencement period for the waiver of the fees was still under review as no travelling was allowed during the MCO period.

Budget hotel operators seek protection

Separately, the Malaysia Budget Hotel Association has called for legislation to protect hotel owners and operators from the impact of Covid-19.

The association’s national deputy president, Sri Ganesh Michiel, said members felt that the recent announcement of government assistance was not enough.

“Banking and financial institutions have been avoiding the hotel industry as they misunderstood this industry as a high-risk industry,” he said.

He claimed that property owners were taking advantage of the situation by rejecting, or being reluctant to allow a waiver or discounts on rent due from tenants. Unscrupulous property owners were trying to take over the hotels while they enjoyed a moratorium on their mortgage loans.

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