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Charge hotel room rate in US dollars to reduce price competition

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KUALA LUMPUR: The proposal to charge hotel room rates in Malaysia in US currency will reduce price competition between budget hotels and four- and five-star hotels.

Malaysian Budget & Business Hotel Association (MyBHA) Chairman Dr. Sri Ganesh Michiel said the proposal would also indirectly improve the country’s hotel industry in the eyes of foreign tourists.

“As budget hotel operators, we agree with the Malaysian Hotel Association (MAH) statement as this will automatically reduce the ‘price war’ between budget hotels and four and five hotels. stars.

“Right now we have to compete with these hotels because the price is more or less the same. We cannot increase the price because if it increases, tourists will prefer to stay in these hotels,” he told Bernama.

Ganesh was commenting on the statement by MAH Secretary General Datuk Megat Shahrul Azman Abas on the association’s intention to charge room rates in USD like other countries in the region, as media reported yesterday.

To achieve this, Ganesh suggested the government implement a two-price system approach for hotel accommodation to differentiate the rate of payment between Malaysians and foreign tourists.

Ganesh said the mechanism, if implemented, would help the country’s hotel sector to remain competitive with countries in the region, as well as generate revenue for them.

“The government should take the lead in addressing threats to the hospitality industry, such as formulating legislation to regulate online travel agencies (OTAs) and enforcing short-term residential accommodation guidelines. term (STRA) to ensure the survival of the hospitality industry,” he said.

Among the things the government should do, he said, was to create a mechanism or system such as an online travel portal which is special for Malaysians only for matters such as hotel booking. at special rates.

“When we have our own portals regulated by government and law, we can get more accurate statistics than if we relied on foreign portals,” he added.

Ganesh said a similar mechanism has been used by foreign countries, such as China, which created two different travel portals for domestic tourists and foreign tourists.

“In China, there is the Ctrip which can only be used by their people. For foreign tourists, they must use Trip.com. The price between these two portals is very different,” he said.

Meanwhile, the executive director of the Malaysian Association of Hotel Owners (MAHO), Shaharuddin M. Saaid, said MAH’s proposal would increase foreign tourists’ confidence in the hotel industry in Malaysia, as well as the income from hoteliers.

“The price of hotel rooms in Malaysia for four and five star hotels in Ringgit Malaysia (RM) is too low if converted to USD. For hotel rooms of the same class in New York or Singapore, the price is at least 400 USD. In Malaysia, it is less than 100 USD. It does not reflect the status of a five star hotel.

“So we need to adjust the price so that it reflects the price of a five-star hotel and is on par with five-star hotels overseas,” he said.

Shaharuddin said that the increased income of hoteliers will also benefit hotel workers and this will indirectly help to improve the quality of their service.

“If we can get a higher income, we can offer better pay to employees and also provide the necessary training to improve the quality of services,” he said.

Homestay operator Mastura Malak, 32, shared a similar view of MAH’s proposal, saying it would attract more foreign tourists, but expressed hope that hoteliers would not profit by increasing the price, including for local tourists.

“With the uncertain economy, it would be better if the current price is maintained. There is no need to increase the price suddenly,” said the woman who manages homestays in Temerloh and Desaru.

— Bernama