Dispute in Dewan over hotel occupancy rate

Hotels experienced a drop in occupancy due to the movement control order to curb the spread of Covid-19.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Dewan Rakyat saw an exchange of words today over the occupancy rate of hotels post-Covid-19, with Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Nancy Shukri and an opposition MP disagreeing on the numbers.

Nancy said some hotels had seen an increase in occupancy rate over the past few weeks.

“(Some of these hotels) has an occupancy rate of 75%, some are 100% according to the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) and others,” she said.

However, Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik (PH-Balik Pulau) said the figures were wrong.

“It is an average of 31%,” he said.

To this, Nancy said the ministry had received official data from groups including MAH.

“We receive it, not you,” she added. “We receive reports daily and weekly.”

Nancy Shukri

She was earlier asked by Ahmad Nazlan Idris (PN-Jerantut) if additional steps had been taken to help the industry recover from measures such as the closure of borders due to the virus outbreak.

Nazlan also asked about total losses and the impact of the pandemic on the tourism industry.

Nancy said the tourism industry had suffered the most since the movement control order (MCO) was implemented in mid-March as foreigners were barred from entering the country.

The Visit Malaysia Year 2020 campaign was also cancelled, causing a 75% drop in foreign tourist numbers and losses of RM31 billion, she said.

The drop in domestic travel meanwhile saw further losses of RM13 billion.

As for sectors such as transport, malls, restaurants, conventions and exhibitions, she said losses of RM45 billion were recorded.

“Due to this, there were job losses and pay cuts.”

However, she said the government would focus on recovery plans.

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