SEA Games gives tourism a big push

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 13 Aug 2017

Ensuring safety: The Philippines SEA Games team going through a security check point at the Eastin Hotel in Petaling Jaya.

PETALING JAYA: As Malaysia rolls out the red carpet to welcome the foreign guests as it hosts the 29th SEA Games, hotels across the Klang Valley are reporting high occupancy, and some are putting in place strict security checks.

Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) chief executive officer Yap Lip Seng said with the 12 hotels designa­ted for the Games’ participants being almost fully booked, there was a spillover as visitors had to reserve other hotels instead.

“Big sporting events like this are a boon to everyone.

“And this is much appreciated as this year has been a tough one for the industry,” he said.

He added that MAH’s 150-member hotels across the Klang Valley would be most busy from Aug 18 to 20.

At some hotels, special measures have been implemented to ensure safety throughout the 12-day event, which starts on Aug 19.

A check at the Eastin Hotel here showed scanners installed at its entrances and exits, and manned by the police.

Malaysian Association of Hotel Owners vice-president Mohamad Halim Merican said such security measures were part of the Games’ security requirements.

“The sporting event is good for business, especially for those hosting the athletes and delegates,” he added.

Halim, who is also Seri Pacific Hotel Kuala Lumpur general mana­ger, said the hotel was at nearly 80% capacity.

“Besides the athletes and delegates, their friends and families will also come to support them,” he said.

Malaysia Inbound Tourism Asso­cia­tion (Mita) secretary-general Adam Kamal Ahmad Kamil said tourists could face some challenges getting rooms since there was no Games Village.

Despite that, he expected many from Asean countries making the bulk of the visitors.

Mita, he added, had been selling special packages for the SEA Games since early this year.

“Apart from the Games, there are plenty of side activities like shopping, fun at Genting Highlands and Melaka or visiting theme parks.”

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