The Johor government has suggested that the federal government establish a mechanism to ensure fair distribution of the tourism tax revenue to the states for the greater promotion and growth of the tourism industry.
State Tourism, Trade and Consumerism Committee chairman Tee Siew Kiong said the quantum of the revenue distributed should be in accordance with the number of hotels or places of accommodation in the states.
Speaking to reporters at a breaking-of-fast with the media in Johor Bahru last night, he said that as of February this year, Johor had 102 star-class hotels with 10,971 rooms.
“Eleven international-standard hotels are being built and are expected to be completed in 2019,” he said.
Tee said he felt that the tourism tax did not impose a burden on any quarters because a similar levy had been implemented in Melaka, Penang and Langkawi.
“The Johor government had also proposed a tax on accommodation to increase income to implement more initiatives, policies and promotional and marketing efforts to grow the tourism industry,” he said.
The legislation on tourism tax, approved by the Dewan Rakyat at its last sitting, allows for the collection of the tax beginning July 1 from all types of premises used as accommodation, ranging from RM2.50 a room each night at a non-rated accommodation to RM20 a room each night at a five-star accommodation.
On another matter, Tee said more direct flights to Johor were on the cards as discussions were going on with several countries, among them South Korea, India and Japan.
Right now, he said, there were 15 direct flights to Johor, seven of them from abroad and eight from within the country. – Bernama