AS Langkawi reopens its doors to local visitors from today, hotels and airlines are cashing in on the buzz by slashing their prices.
The travel bubble has seen a surge in demand for flight tickets and hotel rooms.
Kedah/Perlis Malaysian Association of Hotels chairman Eugene Dass said value-added packages providing late checkout or complimentary breakfast were being offered to attract guests.
“Hotels are receiving an increase in reservations by 40% to 45% the past week, mostly from those travelling from Kuala Lumpur,” he said.
Eugene reminded that holidaymakers travelling by land must show proof of documents such as tour package receipts to the police when applying for travel permits and when requested by enforcement agencies’ personnel.
“Those flying there do not have to apply for permits from the police,” he saId.
Tourism Malaysia northern region acting director M. Yoganthiran said the tourism sector in Langkawi was set to bloom after a long wait to reopen.
“Langkawi is receiving good response in bookings for hotels as far as October.
“We do encourage visitors to look out for the hotels’ standard operating procedures (SOP) before checking in as different hotels may have a different limitation on number of persons and their permitted activities,” he said.
Yoganthiran said Langkawi Development Authority’s ‘My Safe Langkawi’ campaign for hoteliers and industry players before reopening the travel bubble had educated and trained them on the proper SOP in handling lodging, food and other important aspects.
“This effort is to keep guests safe and in good hands.
“It is a voluntary programme which certifies the premises after successfully completing the training.
“To ensure guests’ safety, some hotel owners will sanitise and seal rooms for some time after guests check out,” he said.
Pelangi Resort marketing and communication manager Priya Maniam said they have seen more bookings on the weekends rather than on weekdays since they opened for bookings.
“The weekend bookings have reached up to 70% occupancy so far.
“Our recreational activities such as pools and tennis courts are all open for guests to use with SOP in place, while gym facilities have a limitation of five people per time.
“The hotel is also offering a buffet where the staff members will serve guests at the table to reduce crowding in one place,” she said.
Aaariana Hospitality International president and chief executive officer Reginald T. Pereira said Tanjung Rhu Resorts is offering good deals for rooms with lower prices than usual.
Pereira said the company, which manages the resort in Langkawi, has lowered the prices of rooms for two persons from RM800 to RM400, which is a steal.
“The package includes breakfast, accommodation in a designated suite and a welcome drink voucher.
“The resort will only reopen on Oct 1. We have been receiving good response, where bookings on the weekends are almost full.
“The resort has received a ‘Clean and Safe Malaysia’ certificate from MAH, in compliance with both local regulatory requirements and international standards.
“Breakfasts will be served to guests at a selected time of their choice to reduce crowding,” he said.
Meanwhile, prices for air tickets have reached an all-time low, starting from as low as RM12.
During an online press conference, AirAsia Malaysia chief executive officer Riad Asmat said they have seen a strong uptake for seats to Langkawi, especially with the RM12 low fares and other deals.
“This clearly indicates a strong pent-up demand for travel.
“From an operational standpoint, we have prepared extensively and implemented comprehensive health and safety protocols to ensure all of our guests can travel safely,” he said.
Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri reportedly said activities allowed in the travel bubble project are stays at hotels and homestays, including the usage of facilities such as swimming pools, gymnasiums, lounges and halls to hold business events.
She had said beach activities, water sports, snorkelling, scuba diving, fishing tours, edutainment centres, recreation parks, extreme/adventure/nature parks, farms, aquariums, zoos and other leisure, recreational and social activities would also be allowed.
“They will also be allowed to play golf, scuba dive, cycle, go fishing and yachting while on the island,” she said, adding that geo-travel activities such as bird watching, caving, hiking and jungle trekking were allowed too.