KUALA NERUS (Aug 1): A resort entrepreneur in Pulau Redang here has done everything possible to ensure his survival and that of his employees, including selling off his boats and rationing electricity supply.
Redang Bay Resort owner Lim You Jing said the Covid-19 outbreak which has affected the country for almost two years had forced him to sell four of his 16 boats to cover his daily expenses as the resort has been now facing zero income.
“The returns from selling the boats (a cargo boat and three tourist boats) was less than RM300,000. Yet it can to some extent cover our daily expenses such as food and resort maintenance costs.
“Before the pandemic, the resort earned about RM12,000 a day with the presence of around 120 visitors daily. So now we have to be thrifty and also sell our assets,” he said when met by reporters at his resort, here.
Due to the absence of visitors, Lim said he connects the electricity supply at Redang Bay Resort for only 10 hours a day, starting from about 7 pm to 5 am to save on the electricity bill, compared to 24 hours a day previously.
Lim said he previously had almost 100 employees but the Covid-19 situation had forced most of them to return to their hometowns and they would only be called back to work when the tourism sector reopens.
“I also give the employees who still live at this resort food but no salary. I will only be able to pay their salary arrears when the resort has an income later.
"They understand my situation and have chosen to stay at the resort because if they return to the mainland, it will be difficult to find a new job now and if they live in Kuala Terengganu, the expenses will be higher," he said.
In this regard, Lim, who is also secretary of the Pulau Redang Resort Entrepreneurs Association, is hoping the government will lift the travel restrictions on individuals who are fully vaccinated so that this group of people can travel inter-district and inter-state as this could revive the tourism sector.
“Residents, employers and workers in Pulau Redang received their first-dose vaccination on Friday and Saturday, while the second dose is expected to be given in mid-August so we really hope inter-district or inter-state travel will be allowed in September, " he said.
He said this was because all 10 resorts on the island would not to be able to operate starting December due to the monsoon season and it would cause operators to incur more losses.
"Usually, strong waves due to the monsoon season will only hit in mid-December, so we are hoping for a reopening of the resort in September to November. If visitors are worried about doing activities at sea and on the beach, we will also offer land packages such as jungle tracking," he added.
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