JOHOR BARU: The Government’s decision to allow foreign budget hotels to operate in the country by 2011 may result in many local ones closing down, said Malaysian Budget Hotel Association president Datuk Dr Muhammad Nasir Hamzah.
He said that although many local budget hotels have been enjoying increased occupancy rates, many would not survive if they do not upgrade their services.
During economic recessions, budget hotels often become popular with tourists but owners should not be complacent and must improve with the times, he said.
He said that if local budget hotels did not buck up, many would not be able to compete with the quality of service offered by their foreign competitors.
“This is the same situation that we saw with small-time supermarkets closing down after the introduction of foreign hypermarkets.
“The same situation could occur with the introduction of foreign budget hotels in the country,” he said at a seminar here for budget hotel owners in the state.
Muhammad Nasir said that currently, there were over 6,000 budget hotels nationwide with over 120,000 employees.
“We have already started conducting various courses and seminars to ensure that budget hotel owners realise the situation they are in.
“About 30% have already started to improve their services and facilities, but there are also many who are still smug about their current situation,” he said.
He said that in order to survive, local budget hotel owners needed to be more innovative and work together to ensure their longevity.
Johor Tourism Action Council general manager Abdul Jabar Md Tahir, who officiated at the seminar, said that budget hotel owners should focus on services instead of profit.
“We have already started to look at more ways to encourage tourists to stay in the state and budget hotel owners can help by providing good services,” he said.
He also encouraged budget hotel owners to collaborate and work together to reduce costs while enhancing their services.
tunku : we know that the government is trying hard to bring investors in and trying to be more liberal than before but sometimes don't make these liberalisation brings harm to locals. for budget hotels let it be only for Malaysian. foreign players can always build 4/5/6 stars hotel as many as they wish. in the meantime the service provided by the local players too must be good as it reflects the country's image.