Penang to get over RM10mil from its share of tourism tax


Promoting the island: Penang has been using the money to give incentives to airlines to create more flight routes to the state and increase tourist arrivals.

GEORGE TOWN: Penang can expect to get more than RM10mil – its share of tourism tax collected in the state – from the federal government.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said with the extra cash, the state would rethink its local government fee which visitors pay when they stay here.

“We welcome the federal govern­ment’s decision to share 50% of the tourism tax collected with states, depending on the amount collected in each state.

“This money will be used for tourism promotion projects and we will weigh again the need to charge visitors the local government fee,” he said yesterday.

The fee was imposed in 2014.

Visitors pay RM3 per room per night in hotels four stars and above, and RM2 per room per night for three-star hotels and below.

It was reported that in the first year, the state collected about RM7mil in local government fees.

Penang has been using the money to give incentives to airlines to create more flight routes to the state and increase tourist arrivals.

The federal government tourism tax came into force last September. It is a flat RM10 per room per night in any hotel or registered accommodation nationwide for foreigners only.

Tourism players were against the tax with Malaysian Associa­tion of Hotels (MAH) and Malay­sian Asso­ciation of Tour and Travel Agents calling for it to be reviewed or abo­lished.

Chow said the state would use its share of the collection through a collaboration with Penang hoteliers.

“We have a committee comprising the Penang chapter of MAH with related government agencies and they will receive and review all applications for the fund,” he said.

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