KUALA LUMPUR — Hoteliers hoping to open new properties in Malaysia’s capital city will be turned away now that city officials have put a ban on new hotel licences.
According to KarryOn, Kuala Lumpur City Hall announced this week that the indefinite licence freeze is a result of over capacity, which in turn has saturated the market. The new rule applies to all accommodation, from six-star properties to budget hotels, and will not affect hotels that have already received planning permission.
The Economic Planning Unit (EPU) of the Prime Minister’s Department, which approved the licence freeze, said that saturation is impacting competition and rates. “So no more approvals for hotels for now,” said Kuala Lumpu Mayor, Datuk Seri Mohd Amin Nordin Abdul Aziz.
The mayor went on to say that the existing number of hotels plus new properties opening this year would be adequate enough to cater to the expected 12 million international tourists expected this year.
According to the latest data by DBKL, Kuala Lumpur has 939 properties in the city and around 56,000 rooms, including hotels, service apartments, budget hotels and backpacker hostels. According to KarryOn, this is a little less than half the 90,000 rooms found in Manhattan in 2014.