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Hotels, resorts top preference – not Airbnbs
Published on: Friday, May 17, 2019
By: David Thien

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s hotels and resorts are still the preferred accommodation for international visitors with 83 per cent preference over other types of accommodation.

The top five international visitors came from China (including Hong Kong and Macau), South Korea, Brunei, Taiwan and the United Kingdom.

Malaysia Association of Hotels (MAH) Sabah and Labuan Chapter Chairman Gordon Seet revealed this fact to the media during a networking dinner function to announce its new Media Liaison Committee at the Marriot Hotel.

Seet said what was not widely known were cases where tourists moved out of Airbnb types of accommodation and stayed in hotels due to various issues.

“When you stay at a rated hotel, you are assured of quality service, safety, and satisfaction. If you asked for the bed to be changed, I am not sure if your request will be fulfilled at the Airbnb premises,” he said, citing his own unpleasant experience at an Airbnb facility with his family.

MAH Sabah and Labuan Chapter has 92 member hotels in Sabah and Labuan that directly provides full-time employment to at least 16,000 workers.

“The hotel industry in Sabah and Labuan is growing at a sustainable rate, with an estimated 10 or more new hotels opening from now until 2021 that will contribute to an additional 3,815 rooms,” Seet said. 

“As of March 2019, the overall occupancy in Sabah is 64.4 per cent while Kota Kinabalu registered a 74.4 per cent occupancy.”

There is no empirical evidence to support assertions that Airbnb type accommodation will seriously impact higher star rated hotels that are coming into the market, although such disruptive business models including Uber and Grab are ideas whose time has come with the sharing economy.

He is confident that the authorities will continue to regulate such disruptive enterprises of the sharing economy for public good and safety, aside from taxation aspect.

Noteworthy to consider is that Airbnb-type business is banned in Japan and illegal in Singapore etc, and these are some examples of pushback by authorities worldwide against disorderliness and uncontrollable business standard impacting tourism image of the country.

“Our MAH Chapter is committed to work and be partners alongside with our Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, its government agencies such as Tourism Malaysia, Sabah Tourism Board as well as our partners in the tourism industry such as Matta, Satta, STA, SHA, MyBHA, STGA and many more, in making and continuing to have, Sabah and Labuan as the preferred destination for the local, regional and international leisure and business travellers.

“The main and primary objective of the Media Liaison Committee is to engage closely with our media partners, to be the main official contact point to share news about the hotel industry, our activities, to be your go-to resource contact and for conduct of media briefings when necessary,” he said.

“The Malaysian Association of Hotels – Sabah & Labuan Chapter’s primary goal is to act as a voice of the industry, working as one body to promote, protect, represent and advance the interest of its members whilst partnering in various activities which includes sustainable environment and CSR.

“Currently, our Chapter has sub-committees for Finance, Human Resources & Training, Security and Sports to enable all members to share information, to work together and to collaborate in common objectives.”

The new Media Liaison Committee will be led by Regina Sulit of Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa as Chairlady, Anita Chung of Promenade Hotel as Vice Chairlady and Clara Lim of Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu as Secretary, Gordon Seet told the audience.

More than 50 members from the association and members from the media attended the MHA breaking of fast dinner buffet at the Marriot Hotel Kota Kinabalu.



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