The Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) said that hotels in the country are registering lower occupancy.
An internal hotel occupancy survey recorded a drop of -4.71% to 60.8% for the first nine months of the year compared to the same period in 2018 at 65.51% and the same was seen for the first half of 2019.
Tourism Malaysia earlier in August said there was an increase of +4.9% or 13.4 million in international tourist arrivals but hotel occupancy recorded a drop of -4.75% compared to the same period last year, MAH said.
Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi announced earlier this week that international tourist arrivals increased for the first three quarters of 2019.
Malaysia welcomed 20,109,203 tourists, a 3.7% growth compared to the same period last year, between January and September.
The first nine months of the year also saw tourism receipts increase by 6.9% to reach RM66.14bil compared to RM61.85bil for the same period last year.
MAH chief executive officer Yap Lip Seng attributed the hotel industry’s struggle to the rise of unregulated short-term accommodations (STA) like Airbnb.
According to reports, Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC) was drafting a regulatory framework for STAs in Malaysia.
MPC, regulatory body under the International Trade and Industry Ministry, has held a discussion with key industry stakeholders since July last year with regulatory framework’s draft guideline currently pending public consultation in its final stage.
Last year, Airbnb welcomed more than 3.25 million guests in Malaysia, which translates to a 73% year-on-year jump.
In previous statements, Airbnb said that it will continue to work closely with the authorities with regards to STA regulation.
Malaysia aims to see 30 million international tourist arrivals as part of Visit Malaysia 2020 (VM2020) next year and bring in total tourist receipts of RM100bil.
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