BRINCHANG - Hotel operators here have been hit hard by Wednesday's flash mud floods, with the disaster scaring off customers.
Many have seen their customers not coming to the area over the weekend, adding that the fear of landslides has led to some cancelling their bookings for the December school holidays.
Brinchang Hotel manager K.S. Chai, 55, expected two buses of tourists to his 33-room hotel on Saturday.
"A total of 29 from Tanjung Malim cancelled. Forty from Petaling Jaya postponed to December. This is very bad," he said.
He also showed text messages from customers, with one reading: "Our parents are worried to death (about us) going there because (they're) worried about our safety."
Chai said he told his customers that they had nothing to worry about, adding that Brinchang, being 17km from Ringlet, was not affected by the floods.
But the distance in travel has not encouraged Parkland Hotel's patrons to make their way here, said its general manager Cheng Weng Kin, 27.
"Two days after the flood, we saw 30 per cent of our bookings over the school holidays cancelled.
"People are not familiar with Cameron Highlands, they think all areas are affected," he added.
He said that while business went up after roads to the highlands from Simpang Pulai and Kuala Lipis were upgraded, they were greatly outweighed by losses from the scare caused by disasters.
Hotel Remix general manager M. Anbarasan, 33, said his hotel saw some 30 per cent to 35 per cent of their school holiday bookings cancelled.
"Fridays and Saturdays are usually very good (but) this month, November, I think there will be no business," he said.
He said his customers called him several times to ask if it was raining up here, and if it was safe to travel.
A staff member for another hotel said this year's floods were not as bad as last year's, adding that back then, as many as 60 per cent of bookings were cancelled.
But as far as Chai was concerned, "history will repeat itself if nothing is done to stop the floods".