reopening Malaysia

Reopening Malaysia: More tourists, more jobs but not enough people

Reopening Malaysia: More tourists, more jobs but not enough people

Today, I was speaking in the Commercial Property Conference 2021 and I was telling all the participants that in 2019, Malaysia was visited by 25 million tourists. That’s over 2 million people every month. Imagine the demand for hotels then. Beyond just hotels, many of those operating short-term rental were also earning a lot of money too. Well, nowadays, it’s mostly local tourists.

In 2020, the number of tourists went down to just 4 million. Malaysia was closed to international travellers. Now, there are news that we may reopen to international tourists again. Take a look at the news article below. Click to read the article yeah. Article is by

Reopening Malaysia: Hotels now face a new problem

Article in The Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) CEO Yap Lip Seng said that hotel industry needs manpower as Malaysia may reopen to international visitors from 1st January 2022.

He said, “Former employees are reluctant to return and most have ventured into other industries deemed as more stable like manufacturing. Some even went into the gig economy for more freedom and independence.”

He also said, “Even banks have classified the industry as a ‘high risk’ industry.”

He also shared that hotels have also redeployed back-office staff and executives to cleaning jobs to cope with the uncertainties with demands. Please read the full article here: Article in

When there are better options outside

A good friend of mine suffered a lot when the tourism industry went into hibernation when lockdown started. She changed industry and is today a successful sales manager for industrial products. However, she says that if tourism will make a comeback, she too will make a comeback. Her heart remains with the tourism industry. I do think there are people like her.

However, for many people who switched to another industry after such a bad experience with the hotel industry, they will take a much longer wait-and-see versus jumping back into the hotel industry as soon as their former employers are hiring. I think what the hotel industry are also asking is for the flexibility to hire more foreign workers. Just need to remember that the current recovery via reopening is not just limited to Malaysia. Everyone is hiring and they do not necessarily need to come to Malaysia.

Hopefully, everything will start to go back to the norm with this reopening Malaysia and the hotels would be full again. Perhaps by then, they may be able to offer something to attract people to venture into the hotel industry. Happy hiring and yes, when I travel with my two kids, I prefer to stay in a hotel.

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