GEORGE TOWN, Malaysia — Cheaper domestic airfares will be an added boost to the tourism industry as hotel booking statistics showed that many families are price conscious.

Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) Penang chairman Khoo Boo Lim said since interstate travel has been allowed, hotel room bookings that pick up the fastest are those below RM300 (P3,500) per night.

“Bookings picked up right after interstate travel was allowed and many hotels got their fair bit of guests.

“It was mostly those with more affordable rooms that locals are seeking.

“The domestic market is always a bit more price conscious compared with international travellers,” he said yesterday.

Khoo said as many families chose to travel domestically in their own vehicles because it was more economical, cheaper airfares would be an option for them.

Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa communications director Suleiman TAR said offering cheaper holidays was important to getting domestic tourism off the ground.

“Our deluxe garden view rooms used to cost an average of RM550 per night. Now, they are just RM374 a night for those booking a three-night stay,” he said.

Lexis Suites Penang general manager Ben Ho said the hotel had over 80% occupancy on weekends now.

“We have ongoing promotions for our suites at RM300 or RM370 per night. The promotion is about RM200 cheaper than our rates before the movement control order (MCO) was announced,” he said.

Hotel Jen Penang communication manager Ellie Yeoh said what used to be a RM300-per-night deluxe room was now going for as low as RM140.

“We even have a durian package for about RM250 a night. It comes with a night’s stay, breakfast for two and an exclusive durian session by the pool.”

Ambong Pool Villas in Langkawi is offering a three-day-two-night package at RM2,399 nett for its one-bedroom private pool villa for Malaysians and residents in the country, valid for booking until June 30.

Hotel Istana Kuala Lumpur general manager Noorazzudin Omar said the hotel was having a reopening promotion where guests could book a room for RM88 nett per night for stays from July 1 to Aug 31. Bookings can be made until June 30.

K. Velu, who is in charge of Hillview Inn in Tanah Rata, Cameron Highlands, said rooms have been offered between 30% and 40% cheaper than usual.



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