Hotels hopeful for turnaround in festive season

Locations tagged ‘popular’ on Agoda include KL, Johor Baru, Penang, Melaka, Kota Kinabalu and Cameron Highlands

by HARIZAH KAMEL / source: TripAdvisor

WITH the interstate and interdistrict travel ban no longer in effect right before the year-end festive season, the hotel industry might see a much-needed turnaround boosted by the holiday spirit of many Malaysians.

The Malaysia Budget Hotel Association president Emmy Suraya Hussein told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) recently that it is still too early to expect any uptick in hotel bookings nationwide as bookings are still slow.

However, she added that hopefully, there is a boost in hotel bookings during the coming festive season, namely Christmas, as people might want to go for a holiday up until the New Year celebration.

In October, TMR reported that the peak of hotel occupancy was recorded during the long weekend in August at 42%, which was when the country was undergoing the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO).

The figure was later stabilised at approximately 39% before declining to 30% due to the reinstated Conditional MCO (CMCO) that caused substantial cancellations in hotel bookings.

It is learned that the average occupancy rate at hotels stood between 20% and 30% since the government relaxed the MCO rules.

Earlier this month, the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents president Datuk Tan Kok Liang told TMR that more families will take up the opportunity and travel back to their hometown, as well as plan trips within the country to celebrate the upcoming Christmas and New Year.

Recent checks (at press time) by TMR on travel and lodging search site Agoda showed that locations tagged “popular” on the site include Kuala Lumpur (KL), Johor Baru, Penang, Melaka, Kota Kinabalu and Cameron Highlands.

In KL, “52% of properties on the site were fully booked” and rooms in KL are in high demand during Christmas.

When entered the same date (Dec 25) to book a hotel room in Melaka, it said 48% of properties were fully booked, while in Penang, around 53% had been booked up, Kota Kinabalu (54%), Johor Baru (51%) and Cameron Highlands (46%). The site also alerted visitors that some of the hotels had only one to three rooms left.

On Booking.com, a similar trend of room-booking during Christmas was evident and the site also stated that certain types of rooms are shrinking in numbers.

In the East Coast, the Tok Aman Bali Beach Resort in Pasir Puteh, Kelantan, was booked six times on Christmas in the past 12 hours. In Pahang, the Swiss-Garden Beach Resort, Kuantan, had six bookings in the last six hours, while the Hyatt Regency Kuantan Resort had three bookings in the last 12 hours.

The Hardrock Hotel Desaru Coast in Johor had five bookings in the last 24 hours, while the Copthorne Hotel in Cameron Highlands and Hatten Hotel in Melaka each received four bookings in the last 24 hours.

Additionally, the Pelangi Beach Resort & Spa, Langkawi, was booked three times in the last one hour. In KL, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel was booked two times in the last one hour, while The Face Suites had two bookings in the last 24 hours.


Read our earlier report

Matta: Interstate travel will boost domestic tourism