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Hospitality industry needs special stimulus package to ride out MCO, says Chamber chief

The hospitality industry needs a special stimulus package to ride out the the movement control order (MCO), says the president of the Perak Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCCI).

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Datuk Liew Sew Yee said many industry players are facing various issues and urgently need assistance to survive.

He said among the things the government could do was to extend the wage subsidy from April 1,2020 to March 31 next year.

“The Federal Government could also cancel the Sales and Service Tax (SST) between April 1 2020 and March 31 next year and also extend the loan moratorium until Dec 31 this year.

“Other suggestions include a 50% discount on utility bills, the cancellation of licensing and assessment fees between April 1 this year and March 31 next year, and allowing alternative businesses like foot reflexology, online food deliveries and gym businesses to open.

“We are expecting the industry to continue to suffer even after the MCO, as it could take a long period to return to normal,” he added.

It was reported that Tower Regency Hotel and Kinta Riverfront Hotel would shutter its operations on April 30, while Travelodge Ipoh closed its doors on Monday (April 27).

Ritz Garden Hotel temporarily shut down its business earlier this month for three to six months.

Liew also said there should be a more holistic approach in handling homestay and Airbnb businesses post-MCO.

“Many illegal homestays are mushrooming everywhere, creating unfair competition to hotel operators.

“Governmental agencies should also hold more events and functions in hotels, while the levy for foreign tourists should be waived.

“We also hope to see the direct flight from Ipoh to Guangzhou be revived as soon as possible,” he added.

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