PETALING JAYA: Hotels in certain tourist destinations have seen a spike in occupancy rates, but other hotels are still seeing critically low occupancy rates, says the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH).
Its chief executive Yap Lip Seng said based on occupancy reports from 13 chapters across the country, the average occupancy rate is about 21.5%.
He said high occupancy was observed over the past few weekends at selected destinations such as Melaka, Penang, Port Dickson, Kelantan, Pulau Redang and Pulau Perhentian.
Terengganu and Kelantan, he added, had also experienced high average occupancy in July, at 70% and 75% respectively.
However, he said it is likely that such high occupancy rates are for the short term, and that many hotels from other cities have yet to see such a rebound.
“Higher occupancy recorded at these destinations is likely temporary and seasonal, with locals taking advantage of the weekend before school reopens.
“Main cities and states such as Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Johor, Sabah, as well as Kedah and Perlis are still low, with average occupancy between 12% and 20% at best, ” he said.
He said Tourism, Arts and Culture (Motac) Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri was earlier reported to have said that hotel occupancy rates were between 75% and 100%.
He clarified, however, that video recordings of the minister’s speech in Parliament showed that she said “adanya 75%, adanya 100% (some are 75%, some are 100%)”, referring to occupancy rates of certain hotels, and not the overall average occupancy of hotels in the country.
Tourism players, he added, are working closely with Motac and Tourism Malaysia on initiatives to bolster domestic tourism, especially in creating awareness on the RM1,000 personal income tax relief for Malaysians for domestic tourism.
"Malaysians should also take advantage of the current service tax exemption at hotels," he said.
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