Penang hotels doing roaring business over holidays

High occupancy: Govindaran (in grey) and a reception officer attending to guests at the lobby of Loop on Leith Hotel, George Town. — LIM BENG TATT/The Star

GEORGE TOWN: Hotels in Penang are doing well with more bookings expected over the weekend, says Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) Penang chapter chairman Tony Goh.

He said tourists, especially from out of state, are also expected to throng Penang in the last week of December which coincides with the school semester holiday.

He said with the current school holiday period and the incoming New Year celebration, the occupancy rate of hotels in Penang has already reached 80% on average since the start of the school holiday.

“We expect the occupancy to pick up by another 10% before the double celebration, which is Christmas and New Year,” he said.

He said the performance of hotels in Penang during the holiday period is encouraging and the outlook is positive for the tourism industry.

“Although domestic tourists form the major bulk of visitors in Penang, there are also international tourists coming into Penang.

“Our foreign tourists are mainly from Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan where there are direct flights to Penang.

“There are some from Indonesia too, the majority of whom seek medical treatment in Penang,” he said, adding that all hotels in Penang are running at full capacity.

Loop On Leith Hotel, a new hotel in town, is enjoying a good run of business since the start of the school holiday by recording an average of 80% hotel occupancy rates.

Hotel operation manager KV Govindaran said there were some days where the hotel recorded a 100% booking rate during this period.

“This coming Christmas weekend and New Year, all of our rooms have been fully booked,” he said.

The Prestige Hotel general manager Melvin Ooi said the hotel is running at full capacity with an average of 80% occupancy rates.

“We are very thankful to our guests for staying with us as the majority of days are fully booked towards the year’s end.

“Although occupancy will be less busy after the long holiday, the hotel has started receiving bookings for the upcoming Chinese New Year,” he said.

The festive period is also a time when restaurants have their hands full with patrons.

Monkey Kitchen, a restaurant in Leith Street, is offering a special dinner package for its customers for the upcoming Christmas and New Year celebrations.

Restaurant operator Azmin Saad, 56, said so far the restaurant has received positive feedback from its customers and has received bookings for New Year’s Eve.

“We are receiving more bookings, especially from locals who want to celebrate the new year during the last week of December,” he said.

Meanwhile, the school holiday is an opportunity for parents with children to spend some quality time together.

Contractor Mohd Irwan Noor Azenan, 40, said he plans to bring his three children aged five to 17 for some sightseeing and to enjoy the food galore.

“I am pretty busy with my work currently so I will not be able to bring all my kids to go on holiday in other states .

“So I decided to bring them to the beach and maybe to Escape Theme Park in Teluk Bahang during the weekend,” he said.

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