Malaysia Association of Hotels shares findings of revenue loss

Malaysian hotels are facing huge revenue loss and layoffs due to COVID‐19

New World Petaling Jaya Hotel: employees have been advised to register for online hospitality learning modules. Credit: New World Petaling Jaya Hotel

KUALA LUMPUR - The Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) have estimated a massive revenue loss as a result of the Movement Control Order (MCO) imposed by the Malaysian Government.

For the first period from 18 to 31 March, 2020, the loss is expected to be RM510.75 million (US$119.47 million) and now with the extension of the MCO up to 14 April, that two‐week period will result in a further loss of RM570.347 million.

In Petaling Jaya, New World Petaling Jaya Hotel is following all the government directives and as a result has lost 98% of its occupancies and revenue streams.

Hotel GM Mr Jai Kishan, said: "During this period only 2% of team members are working and staying in the hotel and they include one employee each from housekeeping, F&B service, culinary, stewarding, engineering and security.  We have stringent daily temperature checks, social distancing protocols and enhanced cleaning schedules across the hotel to ensure zero contamination."

He added that the 98% who are working from home have been advised to register for their online hospitality learning modules and complete them as it is a golden opportunity to enhance their skill sets. The hotel is also using online channels to engage with them in meetings, updates, and counselling if necessary.

Mr Kishan said: "We are paying all our employees in full for the entire duration and have not resorted to any pay cuts or retrenchment exercises. We will operate from 15 April depending on Government advice."

According to MAH's estimation, from 22 Jan to 20 March, losses due to cancellations of 193,057 rooms, came up to RM75.692 million. Hotels in Kuala Lumpur had the highest cancellations at 61,859 rooms with a loss of RM24.192 million, followed by Sabah with RM11.788 million from 33,769 rooms.

Selangor came in next with RM9.05 million from 25,940 rooms and Penang with RM8.962 miilion from a cancellation of 18,476 rooms.

MAH noted that from its survey with a sampling size of 94,133 rooms, they forecast an average occupancy of 11% nationwide with Penang and Sabah having the lowest at 6%. They have forecasted for April (16%), May (19%) and June (25%) but this was before the extension of the MCO.

From a sampling size of 56,299 employees, 9% of hotel employees had to take a pay cut, 17% took unpaid leave and 4% were laid off.

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