Nancy May Have Boo-Booed On Hotels

WINSTON LIAW

KOTA KINABALU: Tourism players here begged to differ with Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Nancy Shukri on hotel occupancy rates.

Sabah Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Satta) president Datuk Seri Winston Liaw said she may have misinterpreted these figures when she told parliament yesterday that they had reached 75 per cent to 100 per cent.

She based it on information from the Malaysian Association of Hotels and others but Liaw couldn’t disagree more.

“Maybe she (Nancy) misinterpreted it when it should have been a drop of 75 to 100 per cent, ” he said.

Liaw said more realistically recovery may be anything from 25 to 50 per cent this year and increase from 50 to 80 per cent towards the end of 2021, depending on the location.

An occupancy rate of less than 10 per cent in many hotels here last month has led him to think the industry would only pick up towards the end of the year.

Nancy had also said in parliament that the tourism industry was expected to begin its recovery phase in the second quarter of next year after being hit by an estimated RM45bil in losses.