KOTA KINABALU: The Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) Sabah/Labuan Chapter is looking forward to welcome their guests both old and new to Sabah following the lifting on the travel ban amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Its acting chairman, Hafizan Wong (pix) said the Sabah hotel industry has suffered progressively from January until now due to the drastic drop in visitors, both international and domestic.

“We’re also thankful that airfares offered for travels into Sabah are competitive especially with the RM50 stimulus e-voucher.

“MAH with Tourism Malaysia also plan a ‘Hotel Stay Subsidy Programme’ with Shopee which entitles all Malaysians to purchase hotel stay deals with a subsidy of either RM50 or RM100 depending on the hotel’s star rating.

“More information on this programme will be available soon,” Hafizan said.

With the Sabah Parks also opening in stages starting December 7, they are hopeful that domestic tourism both from West Malaysia and from within Sabah picks up for the immediate future.

He added they acknowledge that international tourism is not on the cards so soon, but hopefully it will eventually return.

On guests and staff safety, Hafizan said: “All Sabah MAH members with the support from Sabah Tourism Board have put in place SOPs (standard operating procedures) ranging from check-in procedures, room cleaning to restaurants settings, just to name a few.”

Although it is still ongoing, most of the staffing have also undergone the COVID-19 tests either with PERKESO’s COVID-19 subsidy scheme via private healthcare laboratories or private clinics, he shared. 

“However, we’re hopeful meetings and events for hotels will be allowed soon, paving the way for the industry’s recovery,” Hafizan said.-HS

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