Surviving tough times during CMCO

Riding out the storm: Chan looking at his camera while seated on the motorcycle he uses for food deliveries. ­

GEORGE TOWN: With virtually no banquets during the conditional movement control order (MCO), wedding photographer Mike Chan has traded his camera for his motorcycle to survive.

While the 41-year-old was busy last November and December with more than 10 jobs, there is zilch this year.

“Most weddings are held during the year-end holiday period, but this year, the industry is crippled.

“I don’t have any clients with the conditional MCO in effect,” he said.

Chan, who started his career full-time about 20 years ago to provide coverage for weddings, corporate events and commercial photography, has since moved on.

“I was earning between RM5,000 and RM6,000 from photography.

“When the MCO was implemented, my clients started to cancel their events while some made multiple postponements.

“After eight job cancellations, I decided to join an online food delivery company, which now provides most of my income while my photography has taken a back seat.

“I joined the food delivery company in May to help cover my living expenses,” he said.

A bridal studio in Jalan Masjid Negeri also recorded postponement of 20 photography sessions and 10 wedding gown rentals in November after the conditional MCO was imposed.

General manager Jaslyn Huah said the company decided not to impose any fees on clients but hoped the jobs could be fulfilled soon.

“Customers have paid for the package with high hopes of getting married at the end of this year.

“So far, almost all of them have postponed their big day and we will accommodate to their later date,” she said.

Hotels and venues were also not spared, such as an event space which has lost RM50,000 when the conditional MCO was imposed here on Nov 9.

Hotel corporate communications manager Ng Su-Ann said the affected events included weddings, seminars and company dinners.

“Two of the events were postponed and four cancelled. Most of them are weddings,” she said.

Another hotel recorded five cancellations due to the conditional MCO and others postponed to a later date.

Hotel general manager Alison Fraser said the property was making up for the losses by focusing on offers and discounted rates for December and January.

“We are beginning to observe strong interest from the domestic market for the upcoming months.

“In the meantime, we are containing cost by temporarily closing a section of the hotel and being flexible in our rate structure for rooms and food and beverage to capitalise on any opportunity for business in these challenging weeks.

“We will continue with our promotions as well as creating a few more for this month for regular guests,” she said.

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