COVID-19: Strategy by hotel operators to keep business going
Hotel / graphic by MZUKRI

by BERNAMA / graphic by MZUKRI

THE third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic that hit the country about a week ago has caused hotel operators, who are dependent on tourism activities, to formulate new strategies to meet challenges.

A survey by Bernama in Bandar Hilir here, which is a popular tourist destination in Peninsular Malaysia, found that many hotels are offering various special packages for accommodation, venue for meeting and food to attract domestic tourists to stay at their premises.

For example, Hotel Lacrista Melaka in Jalan Hang Tuah here is offering a ‘Breakout Package’ which is a long-term accommodation for a double room at a special price and also includes free laundry service for its guests, as well as credit facilities for those eating and drinking at the hotel’s coffee house.

Its managing director, Datuk Rosthman Ibrahim said to enjoy the facilities, guests should stay at the hotel for at least seven nights.

This is to ensure the hotel can continue to remain in business despite the economic uncertainty caused by COVID-19, he added.

Lacrista Melaka Hotel began operation on Jan 1 this year. It was formerly the Avillion Legacy Hotel.

Rosthman said following the change in management, facilities and rooms at the hotel have been improved to provide a more comfortable stay for guests.

Following the enforcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO), the hotel was closed from March 18 until June 10 when it resumed operations.

For this month (October), he expected Hotel Lacrista Melaka to suffer a loss of more than 60 per cent from the targeted sales projection but was confident the situation would recover after the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Putrajaya ended.

Meanwhile, Hatten Hotel Melaka general manager Datuk Chuck Kassim said introducing packages that provide longer stay, specifically to comply with standard operating procedures on physical distancing, are among strategies implemented to boost the hotel’s occupancy rate.

“We do not know when this pandemic will end and this is one of the immediate strategies we are implementing to attract domestic tourists as the Singapore tourism market is severely affected currently due to  the closure of the border,” he said.

Last Saturday, Bernama reported that the hospitality sector in the country is facing another tough period following the new wave of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The report quoted the Malaysian Hotels Association (MAH) chief executive officer Yap Lip Seng as saying that there would be a drop of about 15 per cent in accommodation rate of hotels for the next two to three weeks,  involving a loss of between RM60 million to RM100 million.

He also said that from a survey conducted, it was  found that the country’s hospitality sector would suffer losses of about RM6.3 billion this year.