The pandemic has forced many to adapt to the new normal. This includes staying home for Chinese New Year.
With interstate travel banned in Malaysia, the tourism sector has had to be creative with how they earn an income. A hotel manager in Penang demonstrated this when he took to the streets to promote the food they were selling.
A video of hotel manager Jeffrey Lim shouting “RM3! RM3!” by the street went viral on Bernama’s official Twitter. According to him, the Red Rock Hotel has not had any bookings during the MCO period.
As such, they have been forced to find other income sources in order to ensure the hotel’s staff still have jobs. They are currently selling dishes such as tomyam, mihun, fried rice, chicken rice and other items cooked by their chef.
[Video] Demi kelangsungan perniagaan, pengusaha hotel berniaga makanan tepi jalan pic.twitter.com/DqHfWJ7pwX
— BERNAMA (@bernamadotcom) February 2, 2021
Hotels aren’t the only ones affected however. Travel companies have resorted to e-commerce and virtual experiences in order to keep themselves afloat. AirAsia Fresh, AirAsia’s e-commerce, released customisable grocery packs to benefit the public and small businesses. “As we continue battling this pandemic, online grocery shopping and delivery will further be ingrained as part and parcel of everyday life,” Maybel Chan, head of AirAsia Fresh, stated. The initiative is meant to help local suppliers reach out to their customers and create more jobs for delivery partners.
Klook, the travel booking platform has created menus and gift set options in light of Chinese New Year, offering both takeaway and delivery. The cuisine sets are from notable hotels and restaurants in Malaysia, allowing people to dine comfortably at home without worrying about the preparation or quality of the food.
Airbnb on the other hand, has Chinese New Year-themed virtual experiences and online classes available, such as cooking xiao long bao and brewing the perfect cup of tea. Airbnb general manager Amanpreet Bajaj stated that this was done to help families “celebrate in their own way” as CNY is definitely different this year. The virtual tours became a popular way for people to connect, explore and gain new skills.
While corporations are doing what they can to help, others are taking their own initiatives. Two tourism operators in Selangor opened a salted fish business to support their families, according to Bernama. Tourist guides are also finding other means to survive the pandemic.
With MCO 2.0 extended to 18th February, excluding Sarawak, we will also have to get creative with how we celebrate Chinese New Year.
Source: The Star.