Pandemic starts to take toll on Penang hotels

where2life | April 27, 2020 | 0 | Events , Happening Now , Travel

By now, thanks to the social media, news of a hotel closing down it’s operations is just a formality.

The Jazz Hotel in Tanjung Tokong here has become the first casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic in the hospitality industry in Penang.
In an internal circular issued by the hotel’s board of directors, the employees have been given notice till April 30, 2020 as their last day of employment.
The circular which has since then gone viral.
Employees have also been advised that their manager will be in contact with them to discuss the compensation package.
Hundreds of employees are expected to be affected by this move.
Nevertheless, the staff have been urged to accept the compensation package in goodwill. 
The group’s sister hotel in Ipoh, the Kinta Riverfront Hotel & Suites is also facing the same fate as employees there have also been given notice.
Last month, similarly, another hotel’s staff at the Tower Regency Hotel in the heart of Ipoh also received their notice of termination of employment.
The employees there have also been the given a severance package.
The Jazz Hotel and Kinta Riverfront are both management by the VHM Hotel Management Group which also owns Penaga Hotel, Jerejak Island Resort, Summer Tree Hotel and Vouk Hotel Suites in Penang.
Todate, it is rumoured that employees at the Penaga Hotel and Jerejak Island Resort have also received notices.
The VHM group also has hotels in Kuala Lumpur, Malacca, Bali, Indonesia and Danok, Thailand.
In the meantime, since the Movement Control Order (MCO) being implemented, many hotels have taken various cost cutting measures for utilities, manpower and other austerity measures, they are finding it difficult to make ends meet.
Industry sources say that this is only the “tip of the iceberg” for the industry facing uncertain times.
“There used to be a popular statement, take five families in Penang and for sure at least one from a family works in the hospitality industry or the electronics industry.
“Such is the contribution of the hospitality industry to the economy of the state.
“Even the post MCO does not seem rosy as it will take more time for tourists to travel and patronize hotels again,” he said.
The Malaysian Association of Hotels, Chief Executive Officer, Yap Lip Seng had disclosed in an earlier news report that the hospitality industry has lost a staggering RM3.3 billion in revenue since the MCO was enforced.

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