DestinationsThe fight for the domestic market has pushed hoteliers to craft new ways of bringing in guests.

Malaysia hotels innovate to stay in the game

Sama-Sama Hotel KLIA recently offered a staycation package that included a visit to the Airport Fire Rescue Service.
Sama-Sama Hotel KLIA recently offered a staycation package that included a visit to the Airport Fire Rescue Service.

With borders remaining closed as the Covid-19 crisis drags on, many domestic tourism players in Malaysia continue to devise novel and interesting ways to attract customers to their properties.

In an effort to turn Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) into a destination of its own, Malaysia Airports recently rolled out will its first airport staycation by having Sama-Sama Hotel KLIA join forces with Airport Fire Rescue Service.

Targeting families with two children (aged 11 and below), the 2D1N staycation package includes a visit to the fire station for participants to experience being a firefighter for a day, plus baking classes for children and F&B discounts at the hotel.

At the same time, hotels across all segments in the country are counting on work-from-home fatigue to entice guests to check in for the 'work from hotel’ packages. Many of these packages boast generous inclusions at a time when rates have already been significantly reduced.

The Chow Kit, a boutique hotel in Kuala Lumpur, is offering a day stay from 9am to 7pm for only RM30 (US$7.20), with unlimited barista coffee plus discounts for F&B and overnight stays.

For that same price, Hotel Margherita in Kuching, Sarawak offers 10am-9pm use of the workspace in the lobby area, alongside free flow of coffee/tea/soft drink, complimentary parking, and food credit.

Budget hotel chain Oyo, meanwhile, is offering stays for as low as RM19 with the tagline ‘Work From An Oyo Near You.’

At 10 times the price, starting from RM190, upmarket players like Shangri-La Hotel Kuala Lumpur offers access to three type of rooms from 8am to 8pm, entry to the health club and spa, complimentary parking, and F&B discounts.

According to Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts' area revenue director Vishal Prabhu, take-up of such 'work from hotel' packages may be limited especially in the four- and five-star segment due to price sensitivity. However, the inclusion of value adds such as free access to gym, discounts on spa and F&B or a high-tea at a lounge, could prove enticing to some segments of remote workers.

Overall, the 'work from hotel' offer at Shangri-La Hotel Kuala Lumpur "hasn't proved as popular as our staycations", Vishal shared, attracting largely single guests in the age range of between 40 and 50, as opposed to other local hotels which have a mix of millennials and corporates/SMEs for such packages.

"We did receive a good response for the first two months of the launch but saw a gradual slowdown during the recovery movement control order. Now we’re seeing a pickup again,” Vishal noted.

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