COVID-19’s implication on Malaysia’s hospitality & tourism industries - (1½ Years forward)
Albert WY Leow and Sundaram Palani Padiachee
Outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused a worldwide panic owing to its deadly nature, in addition to the discovery of other ‘Variant of Concern’ (VOC) viruses, such as the Alpha (UK), Beta (South Africa), Gamma (Brazil) and lately, Delta (India) (Ministry of Health, Malaysia & World Health Organization, 24 June 2021). The Malaysian Government has instituted to date (July 2021) three sessions of Movement Control Orders (MCO) since March 2020, to prevent the disease from spreading further. The Government’s tourism campaign, that is Visit Malaysia 2020, had to be cancelled last year and it has caused a substantial loss of RM (Ringgit Malaysia) 6.53 billion in 2020 and another RM 5 billion, as of May 2021.
Explanatory research method is used to study the impacts by implying secondary data from newspapers, journal articles and web resources. The major findings of the study have revealed some serious negative impacts on the concerned sectors. The implication of this extended study has revealed some immediate assistance programs, which were proposed by the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) and the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) for the benefit of both the accommodation and tourism stakeholders, to the Malaysian Government early this year. This explanatory study could be used to assist the government in adopting precautions and the best policy should this pandemic prolong its presence into the near future.