Hoteliers: Racial and political discord hurting tourism

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 22 Oct 2019

Festive preparations: Samford (fourth from left) with his staff members, who designed a kolam at Shah Beach Resort in Melaka.

MELAKA: A group of hoteliers got together to moot an initiative to quell rising discord among the people, saying that harping on differences – both political and racial – is hurting the tourism sector.

The newly minted Hospitality Network Group (HNG) hoped current leaders would avoid making incendiary remarks that could lead to a drop in tourist arrivals.

HNG vice-president Dennis Samford said it was crucial for leaders to focus on the country’s cultural and historical attractions.

“We need to boost our country’s image as an attractive tourist destination without any negative publicity on political or racial narratives.

“Our livelihoods depend on flourishing tourism, so all parties should play a role to help achieve a higher volume of visitors, ” he said after getting feedback from nearly 90 hoteliers and restaurateurs during the inaugural meeting at Shah Beach Resort here.He said the group wanted to see intensified efforts to market Malaysia’s attractions and develop measures to support the tourism industry.“We are nearing Visit Malaysia Year 2020, so we hope the government will place mechanisms on accentuating higher hotel occupancies and safeguarding employment in the industry, ” he added.

Samford said the group also hoped to outline a framework to lobby for sustainable development of culture and eco-tourism.

“We have also agreed to engage media organisations, which are crucial to drive higher tourism volume, ” he said.

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