Penang is set to be inundated by tourists once again with the ‘super weekend’ starting today. A high number of vehicles have been seen since Thursday, with most beach hotels here enjoying 80% occupancy rate up to Monday.
Today is also the Penang governor’s birthday, while the coming Monday is a replacement public holiday for Hari Raya Haji, which falls tomorrow. The state also just celebrated its Heritage Day on Thursday.
Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa communications director Suleiman Tunku Abdul Rahman said the hotel’s occupancy “looked healthy” over the weekend with the percentage hovering between 80% and 90%.
He said most of the guests were locals, coupled with a handful of Europeans and some from the Middle East.“We have recruited more staff in preparation not only for this long weekend, but for the school holidays in September and year-end.
“The lack of workers is still a challenge, but it is not as bad as before,” he added.
Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) Penang chapter chairman Tony Goh said beach hotels had an occupancy rate of about 80%, while hotels in the town area and on the mainland would be 60% occupied.
“Although hotels are recording good business, the labour shortage situation has not improved.
“The labour shortage is not confined to only cleaning services, but also in the kitchen, food and beverage, front office, and security, too. To fill the gap, many hotels are hiring part-timers,” he added.
Macalister Mansion operation manager Frank Lau said the rooms were 60% to 70% booked for the weekend.
“Most of our guests are from Singapore, France and Australia.
“Due to the manpower shortage, we have employed part-time workers for the kitchen as well as for housekeeping,” he said.
Penang police chief Comm Datuk Mohd Shuhaily Mohd Zain advised the public to always plan their journey during the holiday.
“We will monitor the situation in the state to ensure smooth traffic. We will also conduct crime prevention operations like we always do,” he said.
State tourism and creative economy committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin said some 20,000 travellers were expected to visit the state over the weekend.
“The tourism industry in Penang is coping well. We have seen good returns and recovery in the state’s tourism economy.
“Speaking in terms of figures, the MAH Penang chapter has reported positive occupancy rates for the long weekend. With such traction in place, I believe our tourism players are rejoicing over the spike in business, which I hope will continue in the days to come,” he said.
Yeoh also reminded the public to always mask up, sanitise often, and do self-tests from time to time.
“Although most of us are vaccinated and boosted, it doesn’t mean we can be complacent towards Covid-19. All of us should practise ‘Responsible Tourism’ so that our industry players can reap the benefits from the reopening of tourism, without compromising public health and safety,” he added.
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