Thursday, September 03, 2009

High Sarawak hotel rates scare tourists off

Government may have to step in to bring down peak season rates

KUCHING: Travellers and participants of the World Inter-Hash 2010 which Sarawak is hosting are being forced to consider cancelling plans to come here because hotels are charging too much for rooms.

Not wanting the peak season rates to be a stumbling block for tourists and Hashers to travel to Sarawak, the state government may intervene to control the situation.

Urban Development and Tourism Minister Datuk Michael Manyin said he had already spoken to the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) Sarawak chapter president Peter Simson on the matter, and instructed his officers to meet Simson for further discussions.

“I am aware of the high rates charged by hotels in the city. Probably, we will have to intervene … the ministry will have to come in (when necessary),” he said after attending a briefing on World Inter-Hash 2010, at his office here yesterday.

Manyin said he was aware of the high rates charged by hotels in the city.

The high rates come to light during the briefing when the event’s organising chairman Joseph Perianayagam told Manyin that many participants, especially from Australia, were planning to skip the event if the rates did not come down.

Some 5,000 hashers have initially indicated their interest to participate in the event next year.

Hornbill Hash House, of which Joseph is the Grandmaster, successfully won the bid to host this event, edging out established destinations such as Bali and Kuala Lumpur during a ceremony in Perth, Australia last year.

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