New Malaysia travel restrictions put a fast stop to Resorts World Genting’s recovery

Slot machines inside Genting casino

Resorts World Genting (RWG) will once again have to tighten its belt, as new Covid-19 related restrictions in Malaysia will force the operation to operate at reduced capacity and hours.

The resort is opting to reduce their operations due to a predicted decline in visitors between January 13 and 26, the period of a new interstate travel freeze. “With this announcement, we anticipate a decline in the number of visitors to RWG,” the resort wrote on their site. “Hence, we will be operating at a lower capacity and some of our offerings may not be available from 13 January 2021.”

“Some of our hotels, facilities, attractions and other offerings will be subjected to revised operating hours, limited availability or temporary closure. Kindly visit our website regularly for further information,” they added.”

The new travel ban was announced on January 11, following a rise of new Covid-19 infections peaking over 3,000 a day. The Movement Control Order calls for a freeze on travel between six states: Penang, Selangor, Federal Territories, Johor, Melaka and Sabah.

Ahead of the January 13 ban the situation continued to worsen, with new infections hitting 3,309 on January 12. “The situation today is indeed very alarming,” said Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on Monday. “Our healthcare system is under tremendous pressure now than at any other time since the start of the pandemic. As I have said before, unprecedented situations call for unprecedented measures.”

This comes just a week after analysts from Nomura showed their optimism for recovery in Malaysia. Analysts were optimistic based on a healthy holiday period, but that optimism was built upon pent up demand and free travel in the country. New restrictions rains on that optimism.

RWG executives, on the other hand, have always said that this wasn’t going to be an easy recovery. When discussing their Q3 results, they noted the continuing difficulty of luring tourists as a reason to be pessimistic going forward, and showed little optimism about the upcoming year.