Sibu’s budget hotels looking at new ways to remain competitive

In their efforts to stay afloat in the present economic environment, budget hotels here have revised their business strategy.

The hotel operators are now offering special promotions for monthly bookings at affordable rates.

Sarawak Central Region Hotel Association deputy chairman Lau Nai Meng said with the low room occupancy rate of below 40%, budget hotel operators can no longer stick to their existing business model but must change to adapt to the new environment.

Citing the example of Sarawak Hotel, one of the oldest hotels in the town as it was opened in the 1960s, he said nine of its rooms had been converted to attract people looking for affordable monthly rental accommodation.

 “The normal rental charge per night is RM35, but now one can book the room for the whole month at just RM350 or about RM12 per night, which is extremely reasonable considering the room comes with air-conditioning, security, lift facility and an attached washroom,” he said.

Since implementing the new rate, he said response had been encouraging as guests find it very economical as compared to the nightly rate.

“The hotel industry is very competitive now as we are facing strong competition with room-for-rent type of accommodation where their room rates are very low.

“In order to compete with them, we need to make changes here and there to attract guests,” he added.

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