KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 17): With interstate travel allowed now that the vaccination threshold has reached 90%, industry experts are hopeful to see signs of recovery in the hotel sector as early as end of the year, driven by domestic tourism.
Zerin Properties' managing director and CEO Previndran Singhe is optimistic that domestic tourism will flourish as was seen when borders were reopened after the first Movement Control Order period. “As for full recovery, we expect it to come sooner than expected. We are looking at end-2022 for a full recovery of the travel and tourism industry.”
Malaysian Association of Hotels' (MAH) CEO Yap Lip Seng expects to see some recovery in 1H2020 but notes that domestic tourism alone won’t be sufficient for a full recovery of the hospitality industry. “We need to take into consideration the reduced spending power of Malaysians in general. Eventually, international arrivals are needed, and with the plans in place, we are looking forward to the return of international tourists by 4Q2022.”
While hotel closures are expected to ease, there is no denying that the hotel industry has been badly impacted by the pandemic, raising the issue of the massive drain in talent, manpower and the larger question of how the industry will recover. Knight Frank Malaysia executive director of capital markets James Buckley says, "It will be quite challenging to hire new employees and it will take time to train them”.
JLL Property Services (M) Sdn Bhd's YY Lau notes that most assets up for sale are two- to four-star hotels located in cities, rather than luxury hotels or resorts. “Some of these hotels were already on the market pre-pandemic for various reasons.”
Read more about it in the latest issue of City & Country, which comes out with The Edge Malaysia weekly’s Oct 18 edition.