Allowing owners of empty units in condominiums and apartments in the city area to operate "hotel-like" services will not only address the problem of shortage of accommodation faced by local tourism players but also create a win-win situation for everybody.
However, it is suggested that these owners must operate through a company duly registered with the relevant authorities to protect the interests and welfare of guests and other tenants in their respective areas.
Sabah Tourism Federation President Dato' Seri Winston Liaw said it would be proper and logical for the local authorities to allow such operations to help address the shortage of hotel rooms and increase the revenue for both the LGUs (local government units) and unit owners.
He was commenting on City Hall's plan to come up with regulations and guidelines for online marketplace and hospitality service, AirBnB, within this year.
Winston said the setting up of a management company for unit owners to provide "homestay-like" services in condominiums and apartment properties would mean additional collection of government/tourism taxes (six units above).
"This will also mean revenue to unit owners, apart from encouraging both local and foreign individuals and companies to invest in condominium and apartment properties here, especially the empty units," said the Sabah Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Satta) Chairman.
Furthermore, Winston said he believed the move would also help build confidence on the part of financial institutions to provide bank loans to new buyers of condominium and apartment units.
"A healthy situation will be created whereby local developers will have more confidence to venture into condominium and apartment projects," he explained.
Winston said he plans to meet with the relevant local authorities soon to explain and submit an official proposal.
"I will personally visit the authorities concerned to explain to them the rationale behind our proposal which will create a win-win situation for all," he said.