GEORGE TOWN, Oct 2 — Beachfront hotels in Penang, especially those along Batu Ferringhi strip to the island’s north, are finally getting the long awaited shot in the arm with bookings for this weekend up to 40 per cent as the federal government started peeling back movement restrictions one by one.
According to Raj Kumar, chairman of the Penang chapter of the Malaysian Association of Hotels, some hotels have recorded between 30 and 40 per cent in bookings just from Penangites for the next two weeks.
“Some hotels are still not open in full force as they are waiting for all of their staff to be fully vaccinated but I expect all will be in full force by the middle of this month,” he told Malay Mail yesterday.
He said hotels are also expecting a greater influx of visitors, especially once the state borders reopen.
As such, all the hotels here are now fully prepared with strict SOPs to accept guests.
“We hope to see occupancy rates increase but we are also cautious to ensure there is physical distancing and no overcrowding,” Raj said.
At Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa in Batu Ferringhi, occupancy rates swelled to 40 per cent this weekend.
Its communications director Suleiman Tunku Abdul Rahman said the hotel is expecting it may rise further to 60 per cent.
“All of these bookings are Penangites as we have a Penang Lang promotion,” he said, using the Hokkien word meaning “people”.
Suleiman said the occupancy rates at the nearby Golden Sands Resort ― a sister hotel ― have increased to 70 per cent due to its special promotional rates.
“It might even go up to 90 per cent,” he said.
He said Shangri-La has high expectations for December as it has already received bookings from Kuala Lumpur.
The Shangri-La group recently launched its Staysurance programme in which guests are fully insured against any diseases and even accidents while staying at any of the hotels under its brand, including Rasa Sayang and Golden Sands.
He said this is to give their guests a peace of mind when they stay at any of the hotels.
“They are fully covered for diseases like Covid-19 and dengue or even if they fall and sprain an ankle,” Suleiman said.
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