Minister: Govt to review RM10 tourism tax


Colours of Malaysia: Mohamaddin (centre) looking at a collage made up of the people of Malaysia at his ministry as Deputy Minister Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik (left) and Tourism secretary-general Datuk Rashidi Hasbullah (right) look on. — Bernama

PUTRAJAYA: The flat rate of RM10 per room per night charged on foreign tourists needs to be reviewed, says Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi.

“Yes (we will review) because we want to attract tourists, we need to find a method that can be accepted by them and will make it easier for them to visit Malaysia.

“If we have the tax too high, people will not want to visit the country, but if we impose a moderate tax or even an acceptable tax more people will come,” he told reporters during his first press conference as minister here yesterday.

The tourism tax, which came into effect on Sept 1 last year, charges a flat rate of RM10 per room per night on foreigners staying in hotels or registered private accommodations.

Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) president Datuk Tay Kok Liang, in an immediate response, said the association welcomes the move to review the tax.

“The tourism tax will affect budget and long staying tourists. We should welcome tourists to enjoy our attractions and spend in Malaysia.

“The multiplier effect is much more than collecting a ridiculous RM10 per night,” he said.

Tan said the tourism tax was generally for specific purposes, such as conservation of tourism sites. — Bernama

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