In light of the drawback from tourists due to the Covid-19 epidemic, hotels in Langkawi are offering between 30% to 70% in discounts on room rates to help drive the demand for tourism back up.
A total of 45 hotel operators affiliated to the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) will be offering the discounts, said Razmi Rahmat, vice-president of the Kedah and Perlis Branch of MAH. The discounts are aimed at reducing the impact of the decline in tourist arrivals and cancellation of hotel bookings by both Chinese tourists and locals alike.
“The discount is offered by three-star hotels and above. People can check their websites or social media to know more about it,” said Razmi. “For example, a three-star hotel will have an attractive deal starting RM150 and not more than RM250 per night.”
Razmi also added that people should take advantage of the discount offered as Langkawi is safe to visit, citing the recent hosting of Le Tour de Langkawi as proof that the island was a safe destination.
The offer will be available from now until a future date that will be announced later.
Langkawi is not the only popular travel destination to be hit by a sharp decline in tourism following the Covid-19 scare. According to MAH, hotels in Kuala Lumpur and Sabah took the biggest blow in terms of cancellations, with losses in revenue amounting to RM11.29 million and RM10.48 million respectively for the period of 22 January to 29 February. Like in Langkawi, hotel operators in Sabah have also responded by offering “irresistible rates” to encourage domestic travellers.
MAH has met with the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture with ideas on how to tackle industry stakeholders’ issues arising from Covid-19. One of these suggestions was a call for a personal income tax relief of up to RM1,000 per person for those staying in hotels registered with the tourism ministry. “We are happy that both the Minister of Finance, and the Minister of Tourism were receptive to our ideas,” said MAH CEO Yap Lip Seng.
The meeting between MAH and the relevant ministries was called by the Finance Ministry in preparation of the government stimulus package for the tourism industry. According to Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, the government will be announcing an economic stimulus package aimed at mitigating the adverse external economic impacts brought about by Covid-19 on 27 February.