KUALA LUMPUR (May 29): The Malaysian Budget Hotel Association (MyBHA) has proposed that the government, via the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC), should issue certification on safety, cleanliness and health, or better known as 3K to its members.
MyBHA national president Emmy Suraya Hussein said this was a step towards restoring confidence among tourists, once the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) is lifted and people could move across the country.
She said based on a survey conducted among 2,300 members of the association, as of May, the total losses incurred is estimated to be around RM70 million.
“We hope (once the CMCO is lifted) tourists can stay in our hotels comfortably by adhering to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) set by MOTAC.
“It doesn’t mean that (visitors) will always come to stay or eat at the hotel’s restaurants, but there are some hotels that can offer other packages such as online business activities and so on, especially to loyal customers,” she said on Bernama TV’s ‘Suara Profesor Negara’ entitled ‘Strategi Bina Semula Ekonomi Negara - Sektor Pelancongan dan Hospitaliti’ (Strategy to Rebuild Nation Economy - Tourism and Hospitality Sectors) here, today.
Meanwhile, National Council of Professors (MPN) president and chief executive officer Prof Datuk Dr Raduan Che Rose was of the view that the government would be able to ease the CMCO after June 9, as COVID-19 cases seem to be under control, with the number of new cases and fatalities showing a downward trend.
“We must rebuild the confidence in the tourism and hospitality industries and they contribute between 13-14 percent to gross domestic product and have multiplier effects on other sectors such as transportation, aviation and food.
“As the industries have existing strong infrastructure, we hope the coronavirus outbreak is only temporary and everyone will be able to assist in ensuring the sustainability (of the industries),” he said.
Meanwhile, Tun Abdul Razak Education Foundation chief executive officer Datuk Dr Md Zabid Abdul Rashid said in facing the epidemic, industry players should take the opportunity to fine tune the tourism and hospitality industries to be more relevant with the current situation.
Md Zabid said the COVID-19 situation was a warning and a challenge to the industry on how to deal with short-term losses, as well as to prepare sufficient reserves in dealing (with future losses).
Responding to a question on the Japanese government’s move to subsidise 50 percent of its people's travel costs, he said it was only a temporary solution and there were several things that the Malaysian tourism industry did not pay attention to, including how to attract domestic tourism as well as exploring new sectors, such as village tourism, eco-tourism and specialisation in business tourism.
In the meantime, former vice-chancellor of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and former director of Higher Education, Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Anuwar Ali said budget hotels should take steps to improve their training, quality of services, facilities and their IT expertise to facilitate customer bookings.