103 hotels go through safety certification programme

ISKANDAR PUTERI: A total of 103 hotels have participated in the Johor Tourism Safety Standard certification programme to increase public confidence in using their facilities.

Johor tourism, youth and sports committee chairman Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi said through the programme, hotels that had successfully implemented all standard operating procedures (SOP) were given a quality and safety label.

“The hotels need to abide by the SOP outlined by Health Ministry and the National Security Council in order to obtain the certification, which will help to increase confidence among the public to travel and use the tourism facilities here.

“Of the 103 hotels that have taken part in the programme, 58 have already been audited.

“The auditing process will continue to be carried out from time to time.

“The certificate will have to first get the approval of Health Ministry and the Fire and Rescue Department.”

He highlighted this was part of the state government’s ongoing initiatives to boost the tourism industry that had been badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said this during the state assembly sitting here in response to questions from Chen Kah Eng (PH-Stulang), Datuk Zulkurnain Kasiman (BN-Sri Medan) and Liow Cai Tung (PH-Johor Jaya) on the state government’s plans for industry recovery as well as its ongoing initiatives for the tourism industry.

Onn Hafiz said the Johor government had been working closely with industry players to come out with a more holistic and inclusive plan for its recovery.

“We have conducted several engagement sessions with those in the tourism industry, including the hotel sector, malls, theme parks and transport sector on ways to recover from the devastating impact of this pandemic.

“The state government has also conducted upskilling courses for some 560 registered tour guides in Johor from June to July this year. This was to prepare them for the digital era post Covid-19, ” he said.

He added that the state government would restructure its Tourism Masterplan for 2014 to 2023 to ensure that it was in line with the current trend.

Onn Hafiz noted a total of 13 hotels had shut down in Johor and that the average occupancy rate of hotels here had declined from 57.3% last year to only 27.66% in August this year.

“The Covid-19 pandemic and the closure of the border with Singapore have significantly impacted the tourism industry, ” he said.

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