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Sheraton’s Four Points hotel in S’kan to close
Published on: Friday, May 29, 2020
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The Sheraton Hotel in Sandakan will cease operations soon.
Kota Kinabalu: Sheraton’s Four Points hotel in Sandakan is closing at the end of the month, the latest in a string of upscale establishments to succumb to financial losses as the tourism and hospitality industry continues to stagger under the impact of Covid-19.

A notice informing staff of their termination of service by May 31, signed by the general manager of the hotel has been making the rounds on social media.

According to the hotel’s website, the 26-floor Four Points by Sheraton Sandakan is a four-star hotel with 290 rooms, nine suites and 10 meeting rooms.

The hotel was launched in 2012.

A hotel insider who asked to remain anonymous told FMT the letter was genuine. The circular was also verified by another source in the hospitality industry.

According to the letter, the hotel had been experiencing a drop in revenue for months due to a lack of demand for its services.

While the management had taken early measures to mitigate its losses, including through temporary layoffs, it said, the hotel would still be forced to close.

This follows a string of shutdowns and lay-offs in the country’s hospitality industry which is struggling to cope with the loss of tourists caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Invito Hotel and Residence in Kuala Lumpur announced it will cease operations by June 1 and a retrenchment exercise is underway for its employees.

There is no indication of how many employees will be impacted.

It belongs to UOA Hospitality, the hospitality arm of property developer UOA Group.

“With the Covid-19 pandemic continuing to affect the world, the management has come to a very difficult decision to cease operations of Invito Hotel and Residence with effect from June 1,” the hotel’s general manager Tony Ho said in a memo to his employees.

He said the Movement Control Order which came into effect since March 18 had severely impacted the hotel’s financial performance.

“The hotel will have a significant financial loss for 2020, even after implementing strict cost reduction measures, including temporarily shutting down in April and May,” Ho noted.

The tourism and hotel industry has been taking a severe beating due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting restrictions including the ban on foreigners’ entry into Malaysia, with several hotel operators announcing the closures of hotels throughout the country since late last month.

The hotels that were reported to be closing down are located in places such as Ipoh, Perak (Tower Regency Hotel and Apartments, Kinta Riverfront Hotel and Suites, Syuen Hotel, Travelodge Ipoh), Penang (Mercure Penang Beach, The Gurney Resort Hotel and Residences) , Melaka (Ramada Plaza Hotel) and also the GTower Hotel in Kuala Lumpur.

The Hilton KL was also reported to have initiated a retention and retrenchment programme for its employees, which would also include unpaid leave options while some will be retrenched.


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