Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Sabah needs 3,000 more hotel rooms

With an estimated shortage of 3,000 hotel rooms, Sabah may not be able to cope with the surge of tourists expected during Visit Malaysia Year 2007.

Deputy Tourism Minister Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the State’s current 12,500 rooms in 270 hotels were barely enough to accommodate last year’s 1.8 million tourists.

"About 3,000 rooms are needed immediately in Sabah."

He said the demand for rooms was expected to increase by 36 per cent every year.

To help cope with the demand, two first-class international resort chains, Club Mediteranee and Kinderland Hotels, are expected to open in Sabah soon.

"But since building a five-star establishment usually takes about 18 months, we will not be able to make it in time for the Visit Malaysia Year so we will have to look for alternatives," he said.

Speaking at a luncheon with people in the tourism industry here, Ahmad Zahid suggested that homes on the outskirts of major towns and cities offer homestays.

Courtesy of New Straits Times

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