Cancellation of hotel bookings hits RM68m

THERE are 170,085 cancellations of hotel room bookings, valued at RM68 million as of March 16, 2020, impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak.

The Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH), however, is more concerned about the loss of demand in the coming months, its CEO Yap Lip Send said.

"We foresee that the losses will double by the end of the year," he said in a statement yesterday, following a Tourism Recovery Action Council meeting with the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry. According to the ministry, hotels are allowed to operate on limited services, including allowing in-house guests who had checked-in prior to the commencement date of the order to stay until the intended check-out date, however they are advised to remain in their rooms throughout the period.

Other services in the hotel are not allowed to operate except for food and beverages, but only for room service, and no new check-ins are allowed from today till March 31 for all, including locals. MAH presented a series of proposals for the second economic stimulus to assist tourism rebound, but also focused on easing cashflow of industry stakeholders.

"Key proposals include reduction of employers' contribution to Employee' Provident Fund; increasing discount for electricity to 30%; extending the discount for water; waiver of quit rent and assessment for tourism properties and also a monthly payroll subsidy for employees earning RM2,000 and below," it said.