The Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) has launched the "Clean & Safe Malaysia" certification programme, the first-ever industry-wide hygiene and safety label in the country, in a bid to restore tourist confidence shaken by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The programme is designed specifically for hotels and resorts in compliance with both local regulatory requirements and international standards.
In a statement, the association said "Clean & Safe" is the only such programme so far, is supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture of Malaysia (Motac), and will be the benchmark of hygiene and safety standards for the hotel industry of Malaysia.
"The 'Clean & Safe Malaysia' hygiene and safety label extend beyond basic regulatory requirements, with the ultimate goal of not only ensuring its implementation but also continuous compliance for peace of mind of travellers staying at certified hotels," said MAH chief executive officer Yap Lip Seng.
"Tourist both local and international can look forward to staying at these hotels with peace of mind.
"There is a need to reassure tourists that Malaysia is ready, and the 'Clean & Safe Malaysia' label is the mark to look out for, with a clear message to the world that Malaysia welcomes you, make us your next destination of choice."
Meanwhile, MAH has appointed Bureau Veritas Malaysia (BVM) as the independent auditor to audit and monitor participating hotels throughout the entire certification period and the general public can also access information of these hotels on its website.
MAH added that BVM has auditing expertise in more than 140 countries to deliver a consistent and uniformed solution to every participating hotel across Malaysia and each hotel certified will be issued the "Clean & Safe Malaysia" label and certificate complete with its very own QR code for referencing and verification purposes.
Commenting on its appointment, Bureau Veritas executive vice president Juliano Cardoso said: "We are very pleased to work with MAH and its members. The 'Clean & Safe Malaysia' label certification audited by Bureau Veritas allows MAH member and non-member hotels to reassure its guests that appropriate health, safety, and hygiene conditions are met and attest safe working conditions for its employees through a consistent approach across all its properties.
"We are proud to play our part in shaping a world of trust," he said.
Yap also expressed his appreciation to Motac for its support and efforts in reviving the tourism industry of Malaysia, adding that industry can expect more private-public partnership initiatives in the near future.
Figures from Tourism Malaysia showed that since the pandemic started, foreign tourist arrivals dropped 36.8% to 4.23 million tourists in the first three months of this year compared with the 6.7 million tourists recorded in the corresponding period of last year.
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