With travel restrictions and lockdown measures still in place, Malaysia’s various MCOs and recovery phases what seem like a journey with no end. Sadly, the hospitality sector has to bear a lot of the consequences, as these continued lockdowns threaten the survivability of the hotel industry. Putting it simply, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to stay afloat with occupancy only averaging at a paltry 20%.
Suffice to say, the hospitality industry may collapse if the reopening of hotels is delayed further. This means that thousands of industry workers will also be out of work. Hoteliers have urged authorities to consider reopening hotels as signs are pointing at COVID-19 becoming something we’re forced to live with permanently.
In addition, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNTWO) have said that a thoroughgoing vaccination programme and the implementation of digital solutions for safe travels are what it takes to restart tourism. They have emphasised how governments must guarantee the smooth execution of a recovery plan alongside collaborating with the right organisations and networks.
Meanwhile, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has suggested that international air travel should resume for fully-vaccinated travellers. IATA’s Deputy Director General and Regional Vice President for Asia Pacific, Conrad Clifford, is also of the belief that maintaining a zero case load isn’t the way forward. But rather, that vaccination and testing should work hand-in-hand, adding that the reopening of borders should be based on data-driven information.