Grant for budget hotels greeted with relief


A homestay manager in Teluk Bahang, Penang, getting ready for guests in September.

THE RM30mil matching maintenance grant for 738 budget hotels and homestays registered under Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry was a big relief for the tourism sector.

However, Malaysian Budget Hotel Association Penang questioned the number of hotels and homestays stated as the total number registered nationwide was much higher.

“In Johor alone, there are more than 400 hotels,” said association secretary Lau Eng Leong.

“As such, there could be more than 3,000 such hotels nationwide which need help.

“What the Government will need to do is meet the association on how best to disburse the funds as we too would like to know the criteria used.”

Visitors seen at the Penang Hill lower station last month. The funds announced in the Budget for hotels and  homestays as well as tourism promotion will help the state.Visitors seen at the Penang Hill lower station last month. The funds announced in the Budget for hotels and homestays as well as tourism promotion will help the state.

Malaysian Association of Hotels Penang chairman K. Raj Kumar said Penang as a domestic tourist destination would benefit from the RM60mil fund for tourism promotion activities.

“While we welcome the allocation, details on how the promotion activities will be carried out in states like Penang must be given.

“Other than the Langkawi bubble, the borders are still closed to international tourists.

“Any effective measures to promote local tourism will boost the economy,” he said.

Meanwhile, Penang Consumers Protection Association has come out in full support of the sales tax waivers for passenger vehicles for another six months, announced under Budget 2022.

Association president Datuk K. Koris Atan said the news was most timely as the tax exemptions would ease the people’s burden during this period of recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Vehicles are not a luxury anymore.

“They are needed by the B40 community to operate their businesses so extending the sales tax exemption will be of great help,” he said.

Koris pointed out that insurance charges for vehicles had increased over the years so this was not the time to burden the people with the sales tax.

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