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Malaysia's theme park industry severely hit by COVID-19

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 20): Malaysia's theme parks and attractions are one of the worst-hit leisure segments as both domestic and foreign tourists shy away from crowded places for fear of contracting the deadly coronavirus. 

Malaysian Association of Amusement Theme Park & Family Attractions (MAATFA) president Tan Sri Richard Koh told theedgemarkets.com that visitorship in January, post-Chinese New Year, dropped 38%, and that in the first 20 days of February, patronage tumbled by a staggering 80%.

As a result, Koh expects the industry, of which all categories of attractions have been affected "... especially waterparks and family entertainment centres and playland," to take between six and nine months to recover.

Theme parks, amusement parks and attractions located in Kuala Lumpur, Johor, Sabah, Sarawak and Melaka have been worse hit, he said.

Whether indoor or outdoor, the parks have not been spared. As a result, all F&B and retail businesses are also suffering.

Some of Malaysia's popular water parks include Sunway Lagoon, Lost World of Tambun, Legoland Water Park and Adventure Waterpark Desaru Coast.

Listed companies with theme parks and attraction components include Sunway Bhd, Sentoria Group Bhd and I-Bhd.

To date, Malaysia has confirmed 22 cases of COVID-19.

 In China, where the number of confirmed cases has surpassed 74,000 and the virus has claimed over 2,000 lives, Disneyland has shut its theme parks in Shanghai and Hong Kong indefinitely.

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