‘Have two-tier hotel rates’ | The star
KUALA LUMPUR: Budget hotel operators are calling for a two-tier system for room rates, with foreigners paying more for accommodation than Malaysians.
The chairman of the Malaysian Budget and Business Hotel Association (MyBHA), Dr Sri Ganesh Michiel, said the mechanism would help Malaysia’s hotel sector generate higher revenue while remaining competitive in the region.
He hoped the government could also formulate legislation to regulate online travel agencies (OTAs) and enforce the Short-Term Residential Accommodation (STRA) guidelines to ensure the survival of the hospitality industry.
“Create a mechanism or system such as an online travel portal that only caters to Malaysians for issues such as hotel booking at special rates.
“When we have our own portals regulated by government and law, we can get more accurate statistics than if we relied on foreign portals,” he added.
Regarding the proposal by the Malaysian Hotel Association (MAH) to charge room rates in US dollars, Ganesh said MyBHA agreed with this as it could reduce the “price war” between budget hotels and hotels. luxury hotels.
“Right now we have to compete with four to five star hotels because our prices are more or less the same. We cannot increase the rates because if they are, tourists will prefer to stay in these hotels,” he told Bernama.
The Malaysian Association of Hotel Owners (Maho), which also backed the proposal, said the suggestion would help boost foreign tourists’ confidence in Malaysia’s hospitality industry, as well as boost hoteliers’ incomes. .
“The price of hotel rooms in Malaysia for four and five star hotels in ringgit is too low if converted to USD.
“For the same category of hotel rooms in New York or Singapore, the price is at least US$400 but in Malaysia it is less than US$100.
“It does not reflect the status of a five-star hotel, so we have to adjust the price to stay on par with those of the same standard abroad,” added its executive director Shaharuddin M. Saaid.
He said the increase in hoteliers’ income will also benefit hotel workers and this will indirectly help to improve the quality of service.
“If we can get a higher income, we can offer better pay to employees and also provide the necessary training to improve the quality of services,” he added.
Homestay operator Mastura Malak, 32, agreed, saying the move would attract more foreign tourists, but expressed hope that hoteliers would not take advantage of the price hikes, including for local tourists.
“With the uncertain economy, it would be best if the current price were maintained.
“There is no need to raise the price suddenly,” said the woman who runs foster families in Temerloh and Desaru.