KOTA BHARU, Feb 11 — The hotel industry in Kelantan is in dire straits with many facing the risk of closure soon or be able to sustain their operations for two more months only.
Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) Kelantan president, Maimun Mohd Hussain said in order to revive the state’s tourism industry, particularly its hotel sector, it was urging the government to consider relaxing the no cross-district travel ruling.
“If this relaxation is given, it could give a new lease of life to the 17 two-star up to five-star hotels across the state so as to remain in business after facing various challenges since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
“We expect many hotels in the state to close if the situation continues for the next two months. Even now the management of most of these hotels have been forced to take drastic measures like giving their workers half pay or leave without pay, or even reducing the number of workers.
“If the cross-district travel relaxation is given, it could save the jobs of about 2,000 hotel employers in the state,” she said at a news conference, here, today.
Maimun said in order to revive the state’s hotel industry, the association had held discussions with the state government on a number of issues including a 70 per cent discount be given on the hotel business licence as the hotel room sales now were under 50 per cent, besides an incentive of RM10,000 for each hotel registered under MAH.
“We are also asking for 50 per cent discount on the water bills under Air Kelantan Sdn Bhd (AKSB) and also 50 per cent discount on the city tax and other related taxes,” she added.
Maimun said Kelantan MAH understood the state government’s concern over the hotel industry’s activities amid the pandemic but assured that the hotels would adhere to the standard operating procedure (SOP) set by the government if the hotels were allowed to fully operate as usual.
“We really hope the state government will consider our appeal in order to save the hotel industry. We will give full cooperation in ensuring the SOP is adhered to in order to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the hotel sector,” she said.