Utusan Malaysia, 7 April 2011 - Nation still short of 40,000 hotel rooms

Utusan Malaysia, 7 April 2011

KUALA LUMPUR 6 April- The country is still short of 40,000 rooms from achieving the set target of 200,000 hotel rooms to cater to the anticipated 36 million tourist arrivals by 2020.

Tourism Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen, said the shortage could be overcome with the development of at least 200 new three-star to five-star hotels and resorts.

She said, at present, Malaysia already had 161,170 hotel rooms throughout the country including more than 30,000 rooms in the capital city.

"Based on last year’s statistics, there were 24.6 million foreign tourist arrivals in Malaysia, thus generating RM56 billion in revenue for the tourism industry."

"Therefore, the ministry welcomes hotel and resort development projects to cater to the arrival of foreign tourists in order to achieve the target of generating a revenue of RM168 billion by 2020," she said.

She was speaking after witnessing the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Dijaya Corporation Bhd (Dijaya) and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc (Starwood) for the development of W Hotel in the capital city, which is expected to be completed in 2016.

Also present were Dijaya Group CEO, Tan Sri Dato’ Danny Tan Chee Sing; Dijaya Managing Director, and Chuck Abbott, Regional Vice President Southeast Asia, Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

Datuk Seri Dr Ng also added that the ministry was planning to increase direct flights to more destinations, particularly in Europe and the United States of America.

However, according to her, the matter was still being discussed as the ministry was currently more focused on attracting tourists transiting in Malaysia.

"The Ministry would collaborate with selected hotels to offer attractive packages in order to enable transiting tourists an opportunity to stay longer in the country," she said.

Tourism Minister , Datuk Seri Dr. Ng Yen Yen