Malaysian Hotel Owners Association calls for lifting of interstate travel ban

A general view of the traffic on the North South Highway on the first day of the conditional movement control order May 4, 2020. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
A general view of the traffic on the North South Highway on the first day of the conditional movement control order May 4, 2020. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

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KUALA LUMPUR, March 4 — The Malaysian Association of Hotel Owners (Maho) wants the interstate travel ban lifted for the sake of hotels that have suffered huge losses in the past 12 months.

Maho in a statement today revealed that a meeting with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (Motac) and its minister, Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri, took place on Tuesday, during which the hotel owners’ situation was discussed.

During the meeting, Maho executive director Shaharuddin M. Saaid emphasised that no Covid-19 cluster had been spread from hotels, adding that all establishments had complied strictly with the relevant SOPs.

“This should be a valid reason to open interstate travel so that hotels and resorts will be able to have guests to sustain the business.

“Hotels have also taken up ‘Clean and Safe Malaysia’ certification programme for sanitising and disinfection for safety of the guests staying at hotels. And all this costs money but we wish to give utmost confidence to our guests when they are staying with us,” Shaharuddin was quoted as saying in the statement.

In addition, he also proposed during the meeting additional SOPs, including “proof of confirmed reservation with deposit paid at a licensed and registered hotel”, which would allow customers to cross state borders.

Last year, Motac reported that the tourism industry incurred an estimated RM100 billion in losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and resulting variations of the movement control order (MCO).

In January, Malaysian Associations of Hotels (MAH) chief executive officer Yap Lip Seng said the industry is expected to lose over RM300 million in revenue for every two weeks of the second MCO, implemented this year.

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