Hotel rates in Johor set to go up from March 1, Latest World News - The New Paper

Hotel rates in Johor set to go up from March 1

JOHOR BAHRU – Visitors to Johor can expect a moderate increase in hotel room rates beginning from March 1, with the hike in the sales and service tax (SST) from 6-8 per cent.

Mr Ivan Teo, chairman of the Malaysian Association of Hotels Johor Chapter, said its members had increased hotel room rates by between 20 per cent and 30 per cent in the middle of 2023, following an increase in electricity tariffs.

“We want to focus on how to increase the occupancy rates for hotels, especially in Johor Bahru during weekdays and non-peak periods,” he said.

Mr Teo said hotels see good occupancy on weekends, long public holidays and school breaks.

He said he did not foresee any problems with the increase in the room rates, especially for guests from Singapore, China, Thailand and Vietnam.

However, Mr Teo said hotel operators might have difficulty explaining this to Indonesian guests due to the rupiah-ringgit exchange rate.

He said Singaporeans still make up the bulk of hotel guests who perceive room rates to be cheaper due to the favourable exchange rate.

He added that the number of South Korean visitors staying in hotels in Johor Bahru and Iskandar Malaysia was also showing an upward trend, especially for golfers and those wanting to escape the harsh winter back home.

“We have South Korean and mainland China guests who enrol in short-term English language courses and those seeking medical treatment at private hospitals here,” he said.

Mr Teo said there are 90 three-, four- and five-star hotels in Johor.

Lotus Desaru Resort chief executive officer R. Indra Ghandi said room rates would not be increased but would include the SST, starting from March 1.

“We have been charging nett rates for our hotel rooms. Consumers are price sensitive, so they will react if we were to increase our rates.”

Ms Indra said she did not foresee any problems with the inclusion of the SST, as 50 per cent of the hotel’s guests are Singaporeans with strong purchasing power.

She proposed that the government offer visa-free entry to tourists from countries other than China and India.

Ms Indra also hoped that Johor Menteri Besar Onn Hafiz Ghazi, who has taken over the tourism portfolio, would organise road shows to attract more visitors from South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and India.

“There are 300 million (people) in India categorised as the middle-income group. It is a huge market if we can attract them to visit Johor,” she said.

Katerina Hotel Batu Pahat operations manager Mariam Mohd said there would be a minimal increase in room rates in March.

“We are finalising details and the increase is largely dependent on the packages.”

Ms Mariam said hotels in districts outside Johor Bahru such as Batu Pahat rely on guests visiting their home towns and relatives. – THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

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