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Capsule hotels can support tourism

15th March, 2019

KOTA KINABALU: The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment supports the ‘capsule hotel’ concept which is increasingly becoming popular in the world.

Its Minister Datuk Christina Liew said this type of budget hotel with self-contained accommodation units will be in demand, given the booming tourism industry in Sabah.

“Apart from conventional hotels, I would encourage existing or potential investors to consider investing in capsule hotels to meet the growing demand for accommodation facilities.

“Such facility is a solution provider as we need rooms, especially now when we are so short of hotel rooms. It is an ideal hotel for those in the outskirts coming to the city to attend conferences, seminars or meetings.

“It will also provide employment opportunities for locals,” she said after a courtesy call by a delegation from JSK Group led by its Managing Director, Datuk Johnny C.Y. Wong.

Liew, who is also Deputy Chief Minister, said a capsule hotel can be a ‘transit point’ for travellers who need a place to rest before catching the next flight.

A capsule hotel (also known as a pod hotel) is a type of hotel developed in Japan that features a large number of small bed-sized rooms known as capsules.

Capsule hotels provide cheap, basic overnight accommodation to travellers who do not require or cannot afford larger, more expensive rooms offered by conventional hotels.

Briefing the Minister, Wong, who is involved in the tourism industry, said the capsule hotel, which originated from Japan, has since been adopted in many countries, including Malaysia, Singapore, USA, Australia, China, Korea and Russia.

“Given its affordability, cleanliness and safety features, travellers patronising capsule hotels is a current trend. Fare for this low-budget hotel is only RM70 to RM80 per night.

“We have both single and double capsule. When two capsules are put together, it is like a container. For privacy, there can be four capsules in one room for four persons respectively. Alternatively, the capsules are placed in one big hall,” he explained.

Wong, who is also Managing Director of the W Group, revealed his proposal for a capsule hotel with rooftop recreation at Sadong Jaya, here.

“Our market survey shows there is a genuine need for capsule hotels in the State capital. Domestic customers aside, we are looking at 250 pax mainly from the FIT (Free Independent Traveller or Tourist) category. We will submit our building plan for the proposed renovation of four blocks of shoplots to serve as a capsule hotel to the relevant authorities.

“In the meantime, we will place an order for the capsules from China, and these will be installed when the renovation works is completed.

“We hope to get off the ground by October this year to capitalise on the peak season,” he said, adding it could be the biggest such hotel in Sabah when ready for occupancy.

Meanwhile, an ambitious Wong also disclosed plans for an international resort and entertainment centre at Jalan Lok Kawi, Beringgis in Papar, to cater to international tourists.

He said it will consist of 250 units of service apartments/business suites and 200 units of hotel rooms while the proposed entertainment centre will provide facilities such as a spa, swimming-pool and ballroom.

“To attract visitors and tourists, we will promote seawater sports involving the use of jet ski, water scooter, banana boat and the like. And to facilitate connection from the resort to nearby islands, a jetty and sea transport will be made available,” he added.

The islands off Kinarut include Pulau Dinawan, Pulau Ampak-Ampak and Pulau Mantukud about 30 minutes’ boat ride from the mainland.

To turn an existing fruit farm at Kinarut into an orchard villa, surrounded by jungle, Wong plans to build 60 units of villa complete with an adventure park.

Also present were the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, William Baya, Sabah Parks Head of Parks Management, Justinus Guntavid, JSK Development Sdn Bhd Director of Development (Hospitality), Peter T.S. Wang, JSK Tours & Travel Sdn Bhd General Manager, Tony Kam and JSK Business Development Manager, Leonard Leow.

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