Budget 2022 should have done more to ensure hotel operators can sustain their businesses, says the Malaysian Budget and Business Hotel Association (MyBHA).
Its national deputy president Sri Ganesh Michiel said the Budget does not seem to have a positive long-term effect for the hospitality sector.
“We are of the view that the 2022 budget does have a positive long-term impact towards the recovery efforts of the hotel industry,” he said.
Ganesh pointed out that the government should have introduced a more “friendly and effective budget” for the tourism and hospitality sector.
“The government needs to pay more attention to the hotel and tourism industry which has been affected (even) before the outbreak of Covid-19 in Malaysia at the end of 2019 and it will take a long time to recover even if the Covid-19 outbreak has been successfully controlled or eliminated,” he said.
Ganesh also questioned the RM30mil matching grant to 738 registered budget hotels for upgrading and maintenance purposes.
“MyBHA has over 2,000 registered members,” he said, adding that he is unsure how the government arrived at the number of budget hotels that will receive the grant.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) president Datuk N. Subramaniam is more optimistic of Budget 2022.
He said that the Budget has the potential to rebuild the country’s appeal as a tourism destination.
“The various funds announced for the upkeep and upgrade of tourism infrastructure, as well as specifically for budget hotels are timely, and would contribute to the rebuilding of tourism industry’s competitiveness,” he said.
“While general tourism marketing and operational budget was not mentioned in the announcement, (the) industry hopes that the government is allocating sufficient budget to promote and market Malaysia all over again as the choice destination amid fierce competition with neighbouring countries,” he added.
Subramaniam also lauded the extension of the targeted wage subsidy programme.
“This is crucial for the industry to rehire manpower needed and ensure that the needs of its people are being addressed,” he said.
Subramanian added that industry stakeholders are hopeful that the Penjana Tourism Financing and BPMB Rehabilitation Scheme can provide immediate cashflow to tourism operators.
“Overall, the announcement is encouraging for the tourism industry, while the industry is still hopeful for more refinements along its implementations,” he concluded.