NO TOTAL LOCKDOWN, WHAT’S NEXT?
Wisma MAH, Ampang (22 May 2021) - Since 18 March 2020, the tourism and hotel industry lost over 80% of its business despite the short window of domestic tourism between the months of June 2020 till September 2020. The hotel industry alone recorded a loss of over RM6.53 billion for the year of 2020, and estimated loss of RM300 million for every two weeks of MCO. Loss of revenue for the hotel industry for year 2021 to date easily adds up to RM5 billion, making it worse than last year.
The government needs to understand that as long as travel restrictions are in place and both domestic and international borders are closed, the tourism and hotel industry will not survive, regardless of total lockdown or not. Government cannot turn a blind eye on this fact anymore. The lives 3.6 million people employed in the industry, or what’s left of it by now, is at stake here.
A long-term plan is needed to control the situation where current MCO implementations had been proven to be ineffective. The tourism and hotel industry is of the opinion that the government needs to implement stricter and more effective measures such as a total lockdown, similar to MCO 1.0 to control the spread as soon as possible. Limiting attendance at workplace and operation hours of economic sectors will only prolong the situation.
The tourism and hotel industry is arguably one of the most impacted industry and had not seen any signs of recovery to date. It can no longer sustain; its survival is highly dependent on control of spread that would enable relaxation of travel restrictions both domestically and eventually international.
The industry needs more assistance from the government with the worsening and prolonged situation, without which hotels and stakeholders will have no other option but to close down. The end of the tourism industry of Malaysia as we know it is near.