Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Off-peak promotions to boost hotel trade

HOTELS hit by government cost-cutting measures can heave a sigh of relief as Tourism Malaysia plans to concentrate on the off-peak season to help them cope with the losses.

Hoteliers have estimated a loss of RM100mil in revenue barely a month after the government limited the number of events at hotels to cut costs.

Tourism Malaysia director-general Datuk Mirza Mohd Taiyab said since the belt-tightening exercise, more than 450 hotels nationwide had reported that about 2,000 government events had been cancelled.

He said the hotels could cope over the next three months as most of them were fully booked because of tourist arrivals from the Middle East.

“Irrespective of the star rating, most of the hotels are fully booked. However, it is the off-peak season that we should concentrate on,” said Mirza

Mirza was speaking during the launch of the three-day Malaysia International Dive Expo (MIDE) by the president of the Malaysian Sport Diving Association Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC).

He said Tourism Ministry was looking at increasing occupancy by offering discounted room rates and promoting affordable holiday and accommodation packages.

The hoteliers had also asked for lower electricity rates and are even prepared to lower their rates so that it would be affordable and they were hoping the government would not impose a blanket ban on events.

“We will propose to the Cabinet to review the ruling to reduce government events at hotels,” Mirza said.

Although cost cutting does not mean complete withdrawal of events in hotels and as pointed out in a circular that meetings, seminars and workshops can be carried out in hotels, there has not been any improvement recently.

Meanwhile, Mukhriz said MIDE was aimed at promoting the Best Diving Destinations in Malaysia and its surrounding waters and the three-day exhibition from July 4 to 6 was all about diving, water sports and travel adventure the country had to offer.

“We are now among the top 10 dive destinations in the world. We have the potential to better our standing if we can aggressively promote the sports, especially among the younger generation,” he said.

Mukhriz added that even the dive masters of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia came to Malaysia to dive during their off days.

The organisers are expecting more than 15,000 visitors to the exhibition where MIDE 2008 is geared to showcase and promote a wide range of international brands and products, technical developments, training programmes and market opportunities in the diving industry.

Source : STAR
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