Sabah has sufficient workers in tourism

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah hospitality industry is not facing a shortage of workers as the country transitions into the endemic phase.

Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) for Sabah and Labuan chairman Hafizan Wong said in terms of workers requirement, it was manageable.

"However, some hotels still continue to look for more suitable candidates for certain jobs such as security guard, front office and housekeeping as many had left these jobs during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic," he said.

He was responding to Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri who recently said the country's tourism industry was currently facing a shortage of between 15,000 and 20,000 workers.

The minister had said she hoped locals would be interested in working in the hotel industry while awaiting the arrival of foreign workers.

"For Sabah, we hire the majority of our workers from locals as we don't rely very much on foreign workers. We have encouraging response from the locals in filling up the vacancies that we offered when recruitment is needed for hotel operations," said Wong.

On the employees' minimum wage set at RM1,500 effective May 1 by the federal government, he said: "Personally speaking, I think there're pros and cons on these matters for the hotels.

"The new minimum wage may entice hotel workers to join other industries instead, if the payment for example, does not commensurate with their job functions.

"I think, it is time for hotel operators to transform to the new norm of digital marketing and practice enhance sale revenue to be in line with current trends."

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