Christmas crunch for hotels | The Star

Georgetown: Hotels here are scrambling to hire workers in anticipation of a massive influx of local tourists over the festive period in December.

Many five-star and smaller hotels are beginning to hire new staff, especially in the field of housekeeping, to deal with the peak season of Christmas and New Years next month.

Eli Yeoh, director of communications at Hotel Jane, said the hotel had begun the hiring process because we were “not taking any risks.”

She said the hotel was preparing for an occupancy rate of 70% next month, a pre-Covid-19 figure.

“We are hoping for a better season compared to last year and this recruitment will help us meet the demand of local tourists.

“Beach hotels usually have higher business during the holiday season, but there are many guests who choose city hotels because they want to sample street food and visit heritage enclaves,” she added.

Soon after travel through Malaysia was allowed from October 11, it was reported that there was a shortage of staff in the hospitality sector in Penang, to the extent that some staff in the finance, human resources or administration department sometimes had to dress up as housekeepers. , bell boys and reception staff.

The shortage was exacerbated by the fact that many foreign workers were turned away after their contracts expired and agencies had difficulty bringing in new payments due to international travel restrictions.

“We are definitely hiring and wouldn’t want to be surprised like when the interstate travel ban was first lifted last month,” said Suleiman Tunku Abdul Rahman, Director of Communications at Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa.

“We will be more prepared during the holiday season next month.”

He said housekeeping is becoming stricter and taking longer with strict standard operating procedures.

“The rooms need to be sanitized and we need more workers for this.

“It will be difficult, but there is still more than a month and the hotel will have the necessary people by then,” he said.

Neo + Penang is also hiring foreign workers either on a six-month or one-year contract to handle the Christmas season.

“Foreign workers from some countries are becoming selective,” said its general manager, Gulab Mahatam Rai.

“They don’t want to come to work on a temporary basis, but are only interested in a contract of at least six months. We have worked at 80% occupancy during weekends since interstate travel is allowed.”

“We had to prepare for long distances.”

Chairman of the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) K.

“Through the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, we requested that the government allow the employment of new foreign workers,” he said.

Hotels will also start using temporary workers during the high season. If that doesn’t work, hotels will have to reduce their inventory by releasing only a percentage of their rooms rather than having an occupancy rate of 80 to 90%.”

Raj Kumar said that from a business point of view, it would be wise for hotels to accommodate guests for longer period rather than overnight stays.

“It is a difficult period for everyone. The government can help by opening the door to hiring foreign workers for hotels as in other sectors.

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