MAH: Penang hotel occupancy rates expected to be boosted by September

GEORGE TOWN (July 11): Occupancy rates for Penang hotels are expected to receive a boost by September this year, chairman of Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) Penang Chapter Khoo Boo Lim said yesterday.

He said the State government had already given the approval to host the World Hospitality Lifestyle and Entertainment (WHOLE) 2020, an exhibition and conference to be held at SPICE Arena from Sept 10-12.

He said WHOLE 2020 would tackle several challenges besetting the hotel industry during the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) and IT would also serve as a platform to attract corporate companies to hold business events in Penang.

“This will also be the first WHOLE event and Penang will be taking the lead,” he told reporters here.

He said the hotel occupancy in Penang did not show promising results on weekdays, likely due to the slow market in the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions) industry.

The MICE market plays a crucial role in boosting hotel occupancy rates during the weekdays, considering that Penang is one of the preferred destinations for corporate companies to hold business events, seminars and team-building sessions, he said.

“I was informed that many hotels in Penang have received several enquiries from corporate companies, asking about the guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOP) that they need to comply with (in order to hold business events).

“We need the MICE (market) to grow the hotel occupancy rates,” he added.

On June 29, Khoo said that the Penang beachside hotels enjoyed occupancy rates of 60 percent during the weekends, whereas the hotels in the city recorded a 30 percent occupancy rate.

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