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Official MAH Press Release

Short Term Economic Plan But What About Tourism “Long Awaited Stimulus But Is It Enough?”.

Malaysia Short Term Economic Plan But What About Tourism “Long Awaited Stimulus But Is It Enough?”.


Wisma MAH, Ampang (5 June 2020) – Two and a half months after the Movement Control Order started, the tourism industry is finally seeing hope with the just announced Short Term Economic Plan. The hotel industry saw business dropped to almost zero while having to bear overheads and payroll costs over the same period. 

Hotels were forced to make difficult decisions to place employees on unpaid leaves, pay-cuts and even laying off employees, in the last survey by Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH), 26% of employees had been given unpaid leaves, 20% taken pay-cuts while 6% were laid off. The number would have grown by now with more hotels announcing closures. 

The industry appreciates the announcement of new initiatives and welcomes the extension of the Wage Subsidy Program (WSP), despite the amount remaining the same at RM600 for another three months, which is deemed as insufficient for the industry to sustain. The hotel industry had long proposed a 50% wage subsidy for employees with monthly pay of RM4,000 or below and 30% for those between RM4,000 to RM8,000. 

With unemployment on the rise, even more from the tourism and hospitality industry, the incentive to hire unemployed would encourage the industry to re-hire for the recovery of tourism. This is however is dependent on actual recovery of demand which at the moment is still unknown for Malaysia. The industry is still in the dark as to when interstate leisure travel will be allowed or as to when the borders will be open. 

The industry is in need of more, and specifically in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, an indication at bare minimum, when will the Government ease travel restrictions. Driving demand should be a focus and this must be done in advance. Domestic market is undoubtedly the immediate target, but eventually international tourism needs to reopen, and for Malaysia the target would begin with ASEAN, and then China and India. 

The announced recovery plan did not highlight specific tourism recovery plan but we are convinced that the Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture (MOTAC) is working on revitalising tourism not just for the industry but for the country. MAH had been engaging with the Ministry and other agencies with plans to drive demand both domestic and international, and is well aware that Malaysia is in competition with neighbouring countries on tourism. 

“Malaysia could take the lead in ASEAN tourism and unite ASEAN member states in tourism marketing for the entire region. ASEAN could be a destination by itself with nothing less to offer in comparison with Europe. Governments need to take advantage of the situation and re-introduce ASEAN as ONE,” said Yap Lip Seng, Chief Executive Officer of MAH. 

In general, the industry appreciates the Government’s assistance but it is in serious need of a specific stimulus plan for tourism. 


If you require any other information pertaining to the hotel industry, statistics, industry concerns or any other related subjects, please do not hesitate to contact the Chief Executive Officer of MAH, Yap Lip Seng at ceo@hotels.org.my or +6012 280 0300. 

About the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH)

Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) is the umbrella body for hotels in Malaysia formed in 1974 and initially established by a group of concerned and dedicated hoteliers to bring about a more dynamic hospitality industry aimed at building a workforce of highly skilled, innovative and disciplined individuals. Its long-term goal was to enhance the efficiency of the hospitality industry, thus, bringing about a more dynamic Malaysian hospitality industry. MAH, as the official national network for the hotel industry, represents more than 900 hotels throughout Malaysia supplying a total of 155,287 rooms which is about 65% of the total number of hotel rooms available as guest accommodation in this country. With 13 chapters across the nation, MAH acts as a voice of the industry, working as one body to promote, protect, represent and advance the interests of its members.


MAHTEC Sdn Bhd commenced its fiscal year in 1998 to profile MAH as a human resource development provider and to upgrade the skills and knowledge of staff-in-service in the industry. MAHTEC is the training arm of the Association specializing in developing quality human resources in the hospitality industry. Highly specialized in the areas of Hospitality Skills Training and Managerial Development Training, all programs are facilitated by experienced and qualified Trainers through workshops and practical session.