Cooperatives urged to venture into budget hotels

Some of the seminar’s participants.

KUCHING: Cooperatives should consider getting into budget hotel industry, which remains a vibrant market in the state amid strong number of tourist arrival.

Industrial and Entrepreneur Development, Trade and Investment Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said the state received over four million tourists last year and some 4.5 million a year earlier.

Budget hotels across the state have also increased to 169, with ratings between one and three stars.

“The positive number in tourist arrival and mushrooming of budget hotels across the state show that the market potential in this industry is promising and viable.

“Based on these facts and figures as well as other strengths of a cooperative, it is one of the best business model and mechanism to counter economic, social and environmental challenges,” Awang Tengah said when closing the cooperative opportunities and potential in budget hotels here.

Quoting a study by the International Cooperative Alliance based on World Cooperative Monitor 2016, he said the turnover of the global top 300 cooperatives was US$2.5bil.

“The Co-operative and Employment: A Global Report” revealed that cooperative movement is able to generate 250 million job opportunities worldwide.

Awang Tengah encouraged the public to participate in cooperative movements and be involved in budget hotel industry. With most budget hotels concentrated in urban areas, he cited the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (Score) growth nodes as potential locations for budget hotels.

He pointed out that among the issues needed to be addressed for a cooperative to be successful – as stated under the “Blueprint for A Co-operative Decade” – were financial instability, unfair profit distribution, growing gap of administrative standards as well as lack of interest in the cooperative movement among the younger generations.

To ensure that cooperative movement continued to develop and become the best business model, he advised participants to always practise innovative culture for improvement as well as fully utilise the digital revolution era.

At the same time, Awang Tengah called on the cooperative movements to always provide access to capital and give back to the community to ensure their business ventures remained significant to the local community.

“These steps ensure that the cooperative movement will become more significant and the best model for the development of the local society in particular the rural community,” he said in a speech read out by the ministry’s Small and Medium Industry and Entrepreneur’s Development Unit director Samad Jun.

Awang Tengah, who is also Second Resource Planning and Environment Minister, urged all cooperatives in the state and country to establish a strong network with local and foreign cooperative movements to share knowledge and relevant technologies to improve their business activities.

Cooperation should also include sharing knowledge and technical know-how including financial management, production and manufacturing as well as marketing, he added.

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