Tourism sector to remain third largest contributor to economy

Token sum: Foreigners will soon have to pay a small tourism tax for staying at hotels in Malaysia. — LIM BENG TATT/The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Aggressive measures taken to boost Malaysia’s tourism and hospitality industry, which include hotels, foods, restaurants, chefs, as well as food services equipment and suppliers doing their part, will help maintain the industry as the third largest contributor to the country’s economy.

Deputy Minister of Tourism and Culture, Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin, said combined efforts by various stakeholders to push the industry to new heights as evidenced by the ongoing and highly successful and international Food and Hotel Malaysia 2017 (FHM 2017) would help the tourism industry’s receipts increase this year.

She cited how such combined efforts went a long way towards enabling the tourism industry to contribute RM73.3bil to the nation’s coffers last year.

According to data from Tourism Malaysia, the target for tourist arrivals this year was 31.8 million while tourist receipts were expected to reach RM118bil.

“Events such as FHM have both a direct and indirect positive impact on Malaysia’s tourism and hospitality industry, positioning the country as an industry leader that the world looks up to,” she said in her speech when officiating FHM 2017 on Tuesday.

She said the tourism and hospitality industry was recognised as one of the National Key Economic Areas in the government’s vision to help make Malaysia a high-income nation by 2020.

By 2020, Malaysia is targeted to draw some 36 million tourists with tourism receipts projected at RM168bil.- BERNAMA


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