Tourism tax: Those affected by its implementation advised to meet with ministry

 |Jul 6, 2017
MITA President Uzaidi Udanis (centre) speaking to the press at Matic in Kuala Lumpur today. – MO pic by Azrol Ali.

KUALA LUMPUR: Quarters who will be affected by the implementation of the much-talked about tourism tax have been advised to meet with the Tourism and Culture Ministry to obtain further explanation.

This was the advise given by the president of the Malaysian Inbound Tourism Association (MITA) Uzaidi Udanis.

Speaking to reporters at a press conference, here, today, Uzaidi informed that MITA, together with two other associations, the Malaysia Tourism Council (MTC) and the Malaysia Chinese Tourism Association (MCTA) recently held a meeting with the minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz and senior ministry officials to discuss the issue of the tourism tax.

The meeting, held on July 4, was to obtain clarification on several issues involving MITA members who are mostly inbound tour operators.

According to Uzaidi, a research MITA conducted on the impact of the tourism tax affecting some 450 tourism industry players were that only a few of the respondents felt that the implementation of the tax would affect their businesses.

“At the meeting, the minister explained that revenue obtained from the tourism tax will be channelled to activities to promote tourism as well as the development of tourism infrastructure.

“The minister explained that other countries are actively promoting their tourism industry and Malaysia will be left out if it doesn’t do the same,” Uzaidi said.

Uzaidi expressed confidence that Mohamed Nazri as well as the Tourism and Culture ministry were concerned with regards to the problems faced by all players in the tourism sector in general, and MITA members specifically.

“We are confident the best solution will be announced by the minister,” he added.

With regards to reports that thousands from China have cancelled their trips to Malaysia because they did not want to pay the tourism tax, Uzaidi informed that Mohamed Nazri gave assurance to consider the development and give ‘special incentives’ to ensure tour operators would not suffer from the negative impact of the tax implementation.

Much has been said about the new tourism tax, set to come into effect next month.

The tax has been fixed for RM2.50 for non-rated hotels, RM5 for two-star hotels, RM10 for three-star hotels, RM15 for four-star hotels and RM20 for five-star hotels.

It would be charged on a per-room, per-night basis.

A Chinese newspaper in Borneo recently reported that some 3,000 tourists from China were cancelling their trips here because of the tourism tax. – MO