As of 15th March, there are 5.5M individuals in Malaysia who have registered for the Covid-19 vaccine through the MySejahtera app. As we all know, Malaysia launched the very first batch of Covid-19 vaccine on 24th February 2021, and at that time, The Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin was among the Malaysian that received the first shot. By 29th March 2021, Malaysia will complete the vaccine delivery for the first quarter of this year.
Updates on Malaysia National Vaccine Programme
So far there were 301,699 who had received vaccine injections through the national vaccine programme for the first phase. Nurses are among the biggest group (23.86%); doctors (22.23%); other health groups like pharmacist, medical assistance & ambulance drivers (23.4%); army, police & others (21.33%); and only 0.11% (302) involved government administrative members and elected representative, informed by Khairy Jamaluddin, the vaccine programme's coordinating minister.
The second phase will start from April to August 2021. This will involve senior citizens aged 65 and above, the high-risk groups, and the disabled involving some 9.4 million people while the planning for the third phase will start to roll out from May until December 2021, targeting more than 13.7 million people from both Malaysians and non-citizens above 18 years old.
Vaccines give hope to the tourism industry
The Covid-19 pandemic is no doubt giving a bad impact on all of us. On January 30, 2020, WHO declared the pandemic as a global health emergency of international concern. The number of cases keep increasing since then and forced the government to imposed travel restrictions. Many travelers had no choice but to cancel their trip. Airlines companies, the hotel industry, travel agents, as well as travelers had to bear the consequences of the trip cancellation.
Now that the vaccines are here, it is considered as the light at the end of the dark night for the tourism industry after struggling in a tough situation for more than a year. The arrival of vaccines in Malaysia may soon make travel possible again, slowly but surely.
What hotels should do?
The fact that the tourism industry was one of the major contributors to the economy, now is in survival mode is hitting us badly. Hoteliers in Malaysia also agreed that the Covid-19 pandemic has given a really bad impact on the hotel industry from this hotel business impact survey.
The promise of the vaccine brings hope to the tourism industry. The hotel sector plays an important role in the recovery process and boosts travelers' confidence. By implementing the below suggestions, we believe will helps to hasten the recovery stage and lead to a quicker rebound.
Get your employees vaccinatedThough the Malaysia Government did not make it compulsory for everyone to receive a vaccine, however, your hotel staff are effectively considered as the hotel frontliners. The hotel's front desk, housekeeper, security guard, and the chef will have contact with the guests directly or indirectly. In order to boost the travelers' confidence to stay at your hotel, you will need to show them that your staff is vaccinated.
Time to implement contactless serviceThe adaptation to a contactless service now has to become a trend. Many hotels started to embrace contactless technology to enhance guest trust amid Covid-19. We are now in 2021, the emerging of technology and the changing of people's behaviour and demand lead hoteliers to invest in more innovative ways to deliver a seamless guest experience. Some of the contactless services that you may consider are:
- Hotel Kiosk System - Contactless check-in and check-out
- Contactless payment
- Online booking
- Room services or food ordering through QR code
Trust me, delivering a contactless experience to your guest doesn't mean you do not care about your guests, but it is because you care. The effectiveness and the smoothness of the way you deliver it will then be something valuable to the guests.
Be prepared on the vaccine passportSeveral countries like Denmark and Sweden are now implementing vaccine passports as proof of an individual's vaccination status. This will allow those with vaccine passports to travel to other countries that have open their borders. In Malaysia, we are still not sure what's the government plan. From what we heard, for now, there are actually two ways in planned. The proof of someone has been vaccinated is displayed on the MySejahtera app or implemented in the so-called vaccine passport-like in other countries.
Think about the vaccine passport, should we discriminate against those that are not vaccinated? Till the new announcement is made by the government, let's prepare for it.
How hotels can help in this situation?
Some of the things as a hotel business owner that you might want to prepare and consider later once the vaccine for citizens started to roll out in May.
- Your hotels' space to be used as vaccination deployment centers
- Many will resume their travel plan. You may expect to receive more bookings
- Vaccinated people to be allowed to travel once the border open
This situation is unprecedented, it is hard to say by when the tourism industry will recover and back to normal. However, if the vaccination plan takes off as scheduled, we might see the Malaysia tourism industry will slowly be back in the mid of 2021 onwards.
If you want to protect yourselves, your families, your business, let's get registered on the vaccination programme through the MySejahtera app and wait for your turn to receive the vaccine.