KUALA LUMPUR, April 28 — Property consultancy CBRE Asia Pacific expects Malaysia’s tourism recovery in 2022 to be driven largely by the return of Singapore travellers following the resumption of travel between the two countries.

In a statement today, the firm noted that Singapore has historically been the top source market for Malaysia, accounting for an average of 46 per cent of total arrivals between 2015 and 2019.

CBRE|WTW chairman Foo Gee Jen said the rising level of confidence among tourism operators, coupled with easing entry procedures, will drive the demand for tourism products.

“Business travelling as well as leisure expenses on resorts located in Langkawi (Kedah), among other getaway islands, will see a gradual rise in occupants as many have grown to worry less on the statistics of the COVID-19 numbers which initially created a mental block,” he said, highlighting the CBRE Asia Pacific’s insights from its Kuala Lumpur Hotel Market Outlook & Prospects 2022 report.

The report said that with the strong domestic tourism market that remained resilient throughout the pandemic coupled with Malaysia’s popularity as a halal tourism destination, Kuala Lumpur is set to reap the benefits of the country’s reopening to international travel.

CBRE head of hotel and hospitality for Asia Pacific capital markets Steve Carroll said Kuala Lumpur has been a longstanding nexus for business and leisure travel in the region.

“Like many travel hubs, the city’s hotel industry has had to navigate the challenges brought about by the pandemic.

“However, the city’s strong economic growth and the government’s plan to revitalise its tourism industry, coupled with improving fundamentals and notable infrastructure developments in the pipeline, make Kuala Lumpur’s hotel market a prime candidate for investment in 2022 and beyond,” he said.

Kuala Lumpur has recorded an upward trajectory in hotel RevPAR (revenue per available room) in the fourth quarter of 2021, and CBRE expects RevPAR to continue to rise in the coming years as international brands enter the market, and with luxury and upscale hotel projects due to be completed.

The firm noted that mid-scale city hotels continue to maintain a healthy gross operating margin range of about 40 to 50 per cent, in line with other well-established markets in the region like Singapore.


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