Industry mourns loss of Marco Giovanni Battistotti

Credit: Courtesy of Marco Giovanni Battistotti

THE MALAYSIAN travel industry reacted with sorrow to the news of Marco Giovanni Battistotti’s passing last Saturday.

Battistotti was killed in a road accident in the early hours of Saturday morning, 8 August, when the motorcycle he was riding lost control and crashed along the North-South expressway near Alor Gajah, a district in Malacca.

The beloved hotelier had been living in Malaysia since 2007 when he joined G Hotel Penang as its general manager. While in Malaysia, he wore many hats and had been actively involved in the development of tourism in Malaysia.

Prior to his demise, Battistotti was the vice president of operations at Ri-Yaz Hotels & Resorts in Kuala Lumpur, Skal International Asia president, Asia Area, Penang Global Tourism board director and Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) board member.

Shaheen Shah, Group CEO, Ri-yaz Group, said: “I have known Marco since 2010 when he was the Penang chapter chairman for MAH. As I represented MAH as the vice president, we worked very closely on various industry programmes together.

“Marco’s outstanding knowledge and vast experience are well-known in the industry. He is a reliable person who keeps his word and is definitely a team player. Honest, caring, hard working, energetic and professional are a few ways to describe Marco. Our sorrow is lessened only slightly with the comforting thought that we had the privilege to know him.”

A good friend, Reginald T Pereira, president and CEO of Aariana Hospitality International and CEO of MIHR Consulting, said: “I have known Marco since he took up his first assignment in Malaysia at G Hotel in Penang. He was the most down-to-earth, unassuming individual I have ever met. He would go out of his way to make you feel welcome and was such a warm person.

“We became very close especially in his roles with the MAH where I was the CEO. Our friendship grew over the years and we continued to meet regularly even after I left MAH.”

Ooi Geok Ling, formerly the managing director at Penang Global Tourism, said: “I didn’t realise how much he had meant as a friend until he was gone. I feel like I’ve lost a family member.”

A memorial and prayer service will be held for the late Marco Giovanni Battistotti on August 14 at The Eastern & Oriental Hotel, Penang from 18.00.

According to Ooi, one of the organisers, the memorial service is open to all those who knew Battistotti and will be a celebration of his life and sharing of his stories among friends.

For more details about the service, please email

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