Penang hotels enjoying a spike in business


GEORGE TOWN: With the vaccination programme picking up speed and the mood lightening, Penang hotels are seeing a spike in occupancy and events.

Cooped-up Penangites have been heading back to the beach for staycations while bookings for weddings are also on the rise.

Angsana Teluk Bahang, the newest kid on the block on the island’s northern tip, has seen a positive trend of increased weekend bookings over the last two weeks.

“On average, business has picked up especially for weekend bookings since the reopening of our resort on March 5 when the movement control order was lifted. “This weekend will see the highest bookings over the last few weekends, ” said hotel marketing communications manager Karen Chee.

She said traditionally, the fasting month would see a dip in business for leisure hotels but surprisingly, bookings for next weekend – the first weekend of Ramadan – continued to look good.

“It’s not as much as these three weekends but things are looking positive and we hope that this will continue.

“Aside from that, we are also getting a lot of inquiries for wedding proposals, which seems to be the new trend, and wedding ceremonies for later this year and 2022, ” Chee said.

Meanwhile, Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa and sister hotel Golden Sands Resort have also welcomed an increase in patrons.

Suleiman Tunku Abdul Rahman, the communications director of the resorts, said there had been a spike in bookings over the last two weeks.

“Currently, we are going all out to court the domestic market.

“We have been getting a lot of calls for bookings for those planning to come here once the inter-state travel restriction has been lifted.

“Once the borders are open, our occupancy will definitely shoot up, ” Suleiman said, adding that in normal times, hotel business saw an increase after the Ramadan month and this year looked to be the same.

Nearer the city, business hotels such as G Hotel are also seeing a boost after very tough periods earlier in the year.

“About three weeks ago, our cancellation rate dropped to nil.

“The figures are looking good and we are opening up new floors in the hotel that we had previously sealed to cut costs.

“A month ago, average occupancy at G Hotel was less than 10% daily.

“From mid-March, it climbed to an average of 20%-30% daily and even reached 50% on some days, ” said hotel communications director Christina Tan.

She added that bookings for weddings were also being set for later this month and into May and June.

“I think people don’t want to wait anymore.

“We’ve also seen an increase in seminars and conferences, so when people come in for work, they need rooms and that helps our occupancy rate as well, ” Tan said.

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