Two hotel associations have poured cold water on the Tourism Ministry's recent proposal that hoteliers introduce a two-tier rate system. Tourism Minister, Dr Ng Yen Yen, proposed having a lower rate for locals and a higher one for foreigners to allow hotels to raise their rates to reflect their service standards, without burdening domestic travellers. Shaharuddin M Saaid, executive director of the Malaysian Association of Hotel Owners, said the system would not work since the cost of furnishing rooms and providing guest services were the same for all guests, irrespective of their nationality. He added that a two-tier system was open to abuse. He proposed instead that Tourism Malaysia develop strategies to attract more high-yield tourists who would opt for five-star and luxury properties. "Once the (rates of) five-star properties go up, four- and three-star properties can move up as well." Malaysian Association of Hotels vice president Ivo Nekvapil said market forces should dictate hotels' average room rates. He said the association had made a study last year on a two-tier system and the findings were not favourable.
Source: TTG Asia