`Hotel industry should be under essential services’

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) has urged the government to classify the hotel industry under essential services. MATTA president Datuk Tan Kok Liang said foreign tourists in the country should be allowed to complete their trip. “It would be problematic to kick outforeign tourists that we welcomed with open arms earlier. Some are long staying guests at hotels and include rich retirees and expatriates working here.

It is sufficient to bar entry of tourists without having to repatriate those in the country. We have to bear in mind that hotels are needed by transient workers, such as those in oil and gas, shipping and airline crews.” Tan said if hotels could not be classified as essential services,then exceptions should be made.