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Confident of demand, Ri-Yaz set to launch villa resort in Langkawi

KUALA LUMPUR (June 6): A staggering number of hotels have been forced to shut down, either temporarily or permanently, thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent implementation of the Movement Control Order on March 18 to curb its spread, The Edge reported today.

Some of these hotels were long established, yet stood little chance against the ravages of the coronavirus, whose impact on the tourism sector has been particularly devastating.

Even though the sector’s recovery is projected to be long and protracted, one hotel operator appears to be throwing caution to the wind.

On July 1, hotel management firm Ri-Yaz Assets Sdn Bhd is set to launch the 5-star Ri-Yaz Lavanya Resort & Villas on a 6.3-acre site in Pantai Tengah, Langkawi, Kedah. It is Ri-Yaz Assets’ second resort on the island, after the 108-room Dash Resort Langkawi.

Ri-Yaz Assets group managing director Datuk Seri Shaheen Shah Sidek tells The Edge that as enquiries to book Dash Resort’s sole villa unit had been positive, Ri-Yaz was encouraged to open Ri-Yaz Lavanya.

“The idea is to cater for families. They will have the option of preparing food on their own or have our chef prepare the meals in their unit. They will not have to dine with other guests. Butler service is also provided,” he points out.

Ri-Yaz Lavanya is developed by LD Global Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of listed manufacturer and property developer Kobay Technology Bhd.

The Edge said the first phase of Ri-Yaz Lavanya will include 37 pool villas with layouts of two-, three- and four-bedrooms and measuring 2,237 sq ft to 4,640 sq ft.

According to Kobay’s annual report for the financial year ended June 30, 2019, the company had chalked up total sales of RM52 million for the villas, which have a gross development value (GDV) of RM76 million. The units were sold on a sale-and-leaseback model, and eight are still available.

“The domestic market will be the focus for tourism in 2020. We believe guests will be more comfortable staying in a fully equipped villa with a private pool compared with a hotel room and having to share a common swimming pool,” Shaheen says of the decision to proceed with the resort’s opening when many others are closing or reducing inventory.

Interestingly, a recent survey by the Malaysian Association of Hotels reveals that hotels started receiving bookings last month, with July registering the highest number of hotels with bookings (see “Signs of recovery as Malaysians make holiday plans”).

Read the full report in this week’s The Edge Malaysia

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