With limited aid from the authorities since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the hospitality sector in Malaysia industry is taking upon itself to lend a helping hand for affected members.
The Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) on August 24 launched its MAH Cares programme, allocating RM200,000 (US$47,700) worth of food aid through the association’s state chapters, distributing essentials and food supplies to those in need in the hotel industry. The initiative will benefit thousands of families with basic necessities and essential items.
N Subramaniam, president of MAH said, “MAH recognises the needs of the industry and will continue to support its members and the industry directly and indirectly, as well as work closely with the government of the day in ensuring the survival of the tourism industry towards a strong recovery.”
The latest initiative, he added, will also raise awareness of the need of the industry, and to encourage both public and private sectors to support the tourism and hotel industry of Malaysia.
Working in partnership with the Ng Teng Fong Charitable Foundation, the MAH Cares programme has received sponsorship of more than RM100,000 of food supplies from Yeo Hiap Seng (Yeo’s), a household food and beverage brand in Malaysia.
“As a company with deep roots in Malaysia, we want to lend a helping hand and support families in a practical way at this critical juncture," commented Samuel Koh, Group CEO of Yeo’s on the CSR move.
MAH headed by Subramaniam has set up its own Tourism Recovery Committee to formulate strategies to help with the recovery efforts.
Acknowledging the hardship of the people in the industry, MAH has since the early days of the pandemic lobbied for support and assistance from the government, including various initiatives to boost domestic tourism.
However, given the current extended lockdown and travel restrictions imposed, the hotel industry is still unable to generate sufficient revenue to sustain, directly impacting the livelihoods of its workforce.
MAH, at the same time, has set up its very own Tourism Recovery Committee comprising industry experts to formulate strategies that would drive the impending recovery of the tourism industry.
Apart from working with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and Tourism Malaysia, the committee is already working on marketing and promotion projects both for the domestic and international markets. The association has also secured partnerships with various digital and tourism related products and services to empower its members and the industry for a strong recovery.
MAH estimates that approximately 120 hotels have closed down either temporarily or permanently, and the industry has lost over RM6.5 billion (US$1.54 billion) in revenues for year 2020, and likely another RM9 billion to-date for year 2021.