The government needs to draft an act to protect hotel operators and owners from the impact of Covid-19, says the Malaysia Budget Hotel Association (MyBHA).
Its national deputy president Dr Sri Ganesh Michiel said the Special Relief Fund (SRF) announced by the government is "not friendly towards the hotel industry”.
"We received negative feedback from our members who are hotel owners and operators on the SRF, ” he said.
Under the SRF, RM5bil is allocated by the government to provide relief assistance to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) affected by the coronavirus crisis.
According to Sri Ganesh, banking and financial institutions are avoiding hotel operators as they regard the hotel sector as a high-risk industry.
"This is totally not fair towards the hotel industry that is already badly affected due the Covid-19 pandemic, ” he said.
Another problem faced by hotel operators are property owners taking advantage of the situation by rejecting – or being reluctant – to waive rental to tenants who had converted the place into a hotel.
“The (property) owners are currently enjoying the moratorium periods in their property loan facility and this is not fair for our members who are making a loss, ” Sri Ganesh said.
He added that the hotel sector in Malaysia is currently threatened by closure, bankruptcy and employee retrenchment.
It was recently reported that several hotels in Penang and Ipoh, Perak will close their doors this week due to the impact of Covid-19.
Based on a survey involving 324 hotels in the country, Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) chief executive officer Yap Lip Seng said 15% might consider closing down permanently, with 35% considering a temporary closure.
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