More than a year into the pandemic, hoteliers in Malaysia are taking it in their stride to make the best of the situation.
Tee Yih Fung, general manager at Grand Ion Delemen Genting Highlands, likened the pandemic to a rollercoaster ride but the current downtime has enabled the hotel to fine-tune its strategies and prepare for the future.
“You have to reassess your financial risks, relook your P&L and staffing, and go through phases of management pay cuts and so on,” he advised the 400-plus attendees during the recent International Tourism Webinar 2.0 2021 co-organised by Universiti Teknologi Mara and Universiti Putra Malaysia.
Looking ahead, Tee is excited about the much-anticipated launch of Genting SkyWorlds, slated to open end-2021 at Resorts World Genting.
The new theme park will enable Grand Ion Delemen Genting Highlands to tap its "huge database of loyal Muslim clientele and from the government sector" to attract old and new visitors to the destination.
Tapping a loyal base of customers is a similar strategy adopted by Reginald T. Pereira, CEO of Aariana Hospitality International, which manages Tanjung Rhu Resort Langkawi.
Pereira is currently looking at ways to entice their regular customers back when the resort reopens for business, hopefully in September if the Langkawi travel bubble takes off.
“We’re looking at a loyalty system for [regulars] and give special rates. We also have to make it more affordable for our local guests to return.”
With Langkawi's offers of ecotourism, manmade attractions and duty-free shopping, Pereira expected a big influx from revenge travellers once domestic travel was allowed in Malaysia.