Nanyang Siang Pau, 7 April 2011 - YB Dato' Sri Dr Ng Yen Yen: Sharp increase in visitors requires 200 more hotels

Nanyang Siang Pau, 7 April 2011

Tourism Minister YB Dato’ Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said, “Currently, Malaysia is still short of 40,000 hotel rooms. Therefore, we are required to build at least 200 hotels of various ratings throughout Malaysia to cater for the increasing tourist arrivals.”

To fully cater for more than 300 million tourists per annum in 2020, she said that it was recommend to build hotels from three stars and four stars, up to five stars.

Occupancy rate last year – 67%

Currently, there are around 3,000 hotels room in the Kuala Lumpur area with an occupancy rate of 66.9%. Compared with year 2009, there was a slight increase of 4.2%.

Tourism Minister YB Dato’ Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen was there to witness the signing ceremony of Dijaya Corporation Berhad (Dijaya) and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc (Starwood). The W Hotel that will be developed in the Golden Triangle is under the collaboration of Dijaya and Starwood.

Providing additional direct flights

YB Dato’ Seri Dr Ng mentioned that there is an urgent need to provide additional direct flights to attract more tourists coming to Malaysia.

“We seldom see an American walking in our streets as there is no direct flight that conveniently flies tourists from America to Malaysia.”

But then, she said the tourism association could hold discussions with airline companies about this issue. The final decision to have an extra route that is convenient for tourists still depends on the airline company itself.

Short-term promotion to attract transit passengers

She said, “The government is currently working out some arrangements with several travel companies and hotels to launch some short-term travel packages. This is to attract transit passengers to at least stay in Malaysia for one or two days.”

“At present, Malaysia is a transit hub for European tourists who are travelling to Australia, Greece, Holland, England and even South Africa. These are our target customers.”

W Hotel to be completed in 2016

The W Hotel, a collaboration between Dijaya and Starwood, is located in the Golden Triangle, situated along Jalan Ampang and across the renowned Petronas Twin Towers. The hotel is 500 metres from Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC). Designed by a renowned New York architect, the project will work towards the Green Building Index (GBI) rating. The hotel is scheduled to open in 2016.

W Kuala Lumpur, with a total investment of RM300 million, will have 150 rooms, 1,200 square metres of meeting space, one ballroom and five meeting and function rooms.

Others who were present during the signing ceremony included Dijaya Group Chief Executive Officer YBhg Tan Sri Dato’ Danny Tan Chee Sing, Independent Non-executive Chairman Datuk Rohana binti Tan Sri Mahmood, Managing Director, Deputy Managing Director Dickson Tan, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc Asia Pacific Regional Vice President for Southeast Asia Chuck Abbott and Starwood Director of Development Rajit Sukumaran.

YB Dato Sri’ Dr Ng Yen Yen on Wednesday witnessed the signing ceremony between Dijaya and Starwood. From left: YBhg Datuk Rohana binti Tan Sri Mahmood, Dickson Tan, YBhg Tan Sri Dato’ Danny Tan Chee Sing, YB Dato Sri’ Dr Ng Yen Yen, Chuck Abbott, Rajit Sukumaran.