SP hotels in doldrums / appeal for support

V. Sivaji | October 8, 2021 | 0 | Events , Happening Now , Hotels , Live , News , Special features , Travel , Travel Buzz

It is a case of “double whammy” for the hospitality industry in Sungai Petani, Kedah.

Not only are they greatly impacted by the covid-19 pandemic but the pull out of several factories from their industrial zone has seen loss of business opportunities.

The industrial zone contributes a major section of their business in terms of accomodation and food and beverage.

“It is time that the state government or the federal government steps in with funds to kickstart the hospitality industry in view of the expected interstate travel.

“Sungai Petani has been languishing in the doldrums as it is halfway between Alor Setar and Penang. 

“Traffic movement tends to just drive past the town. It is now more than ever that the hotels need some financial support since they have been bleeding since March 2019,” said Eugene Dass, Malaysian Association of Hotels Kedah/Perlis Chapter chairman.

One of the major hotels in the town is the Park Avenue Hotel which is located just next to the South entry/exit toll gate.

The hotel’s sales and marketing manager, Yeo Shwn Fan says that they have even dropped their room rates to RM160 but are only experiencing a 30% occupancy currently.

“We have an inventory of 204 rooms, a ballroom, coffeehouse, swimming pool etc but are only dependent on the government and whatever business from the industrial zone.

“Moreover, if more of the state government events and functions can be held in hotels here it will benefit the industry.

“Any other form of support from the state or federal government will be of great assistance to us to keep us afloat till interstate travel opens,” she added.

Another nearby hotel is the Emerald Puteri Hotel which has some 84 rooms and is also close to the entry/exit toll gate.

It’s manager, Rosly Selemin said that they are only experiencing around 15% room occupancy and finding it tough to foot the overhead bills for the hotel.

“Like other hotels in the town we are dependent on the corporate sector, industrial zone business and the government business.

“We welcome the suggestion to hold more of the state government events in Sungai Petani as it is only a 45 minutes drive from Alor Star. Other than providing an alternate venue, it will also help sustain the industry here,” Rosly.

Nevertheless, the hotels are also looking forward to the proposed Kulim Airport which is only 30 minutes away from Sungai Petani.

“Hopefully, when the airport is built, it will benefit the hotels here in terms of accomodation and other services,” added Dass.

Meanwhile, the SP town also offers several tourist attractions like the historic Bujang Valley, Gunung Jerai retreat, Pantai Merdeka for seafood and Tanjung Dawai town known for its seafood too. 

Sungai Petani town also offers its version of gourmet tour in the likes of eateries for mee udang, kambing bakar, ikan bakar, satay outlets, Thai food and more.

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