Hospitality industry hopeful of busy times over CNY period

HOTELS in Johor are expecting bookings to pick up for the Chinese New Year holiday period.

Lotus Desaru Resort chief executive officer R. Indra Ghandi said the resort, although located in the Kota Tinggi district, was not affected by the recent floods in the state.

“Visitors use the Senai-Desaru Highway to travel here.

“We are expecting many guests as long as the government doesn’t impose interstate or inter-district travel restrictions,” said Indra.

Mersing Tourism Association secretary Ahmad Firdaus Shaik Omar said holidaymakers would normally avoid going to islands off the coast during the monsoon period.“It is normal for hotel and resort operators on the islands to temporarily cease operations during this period as the seas are too rough for boat rides,” he said.

Ahmad said they would normally reopen to visitors in the middle of February.

However, several resorts in Pulau Hujung and Pulau Rawa had opened in December, while in Pulau Besar, businesses resumed operations this month.

“Resorts, hotels and homestays on the mainland of Mersing are enjoying brisk business too with events such as weddings and family reunions,’’ said Ahmad.

Pulai Spring Resorts general manager Sunny Soo said that in the years before the Covid-19 pandemic, the resort would start receiving Chinese New Year reunion dinner bookings a month ahead.

“With the Omicron variant, many are adopting the wait-and-see approach.

“We are expecting more bookings to start streaming in now,” he said.

Soo said small businesses in Johor Baru had started organising pre-Chinese New Year lunches and dinners for their workers.

“While the reunion dinner is a family affair, the pre-Chinese New Year meal is about showing appreciation to staff.

“The tossing of yee sang symbolises abundance, wealth and prosperity for the year ahead,’’ he said.

Malaysians will bid goodbye to the Ox and say hello to the Year of the Tiger on Feb 1 under the lunar calendar.

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