BUDGET hotels in Penang might all close down if the Covid-19 crisis does not improve by the end of this year, said Malaysia Budget Hotel Association (MyBHA) chairman Datuk Lim Mee Lee.
He said although 110 of such hotels were registered under the association, there were over 200 of them in the state before the pandemic struck early last year.
“It has been over a harrowing year for them with borders closed and domestic travelling restricted.
“Currently, less than 10% of them are still operating.
“About 80% of them have closed down and we feel that the remaining may not survive until the end of this year,” he said.
Lim, who is also Penang Hoteliers Association chairman, said most operators who closed down operated in rented premises and have since moved on with other businesses.
“Some are now doing food deliveries while others have invested in other sectors.
“Employees of hotels which closed down were also retrenched and have moved on,” he said.
Lim said the tourism industry is appealing for people to get vaccinated as soon as possible for it to be revived.
“Penang has a population of about 1.38 million people but only 16.6% have been vaccinated against Covid-19.
“Hopefully with more vaccinations and the number of cases reduced, the government will lift the ban on interstate travelling and reopen borders to bring back tourists,” he said.