PETALING JAYA: Operators of unlicensed hotels and Airbnb are urged to register immediately with the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry or face legal action.
Delays in registering would possibly open up operators to stern action from the ministry and local authorities, said Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi.
“We urge all the operators involved to immediately register with the ministry to avoid legal action taken against them under the Tourism Industry Act 1992.
“Other than that, the ministry is also actively tracking down operators who are unlicensed and we are advising them to register with us,” said Mohamaddin after meeting the Malaysia Budget Hotel Association (MyBHA) at his office in Putrajaya yesterday..
On Airbnb, Mohamaddin said his ministry has held discussions with the Housing and Local Government Ministry on implementing conditions on the business.
Airbnb is an online booking platform which allows people to rent out their properties or rooms.
“Just like how hotel operators have to register their business, Airbnb also has to go through the same process, which is to register with the ministry and apply for a business licence from the local authorities.
“For that purpose, the ministry is now in discussions with the Housing and Local Government Ministry to identify a new mechanism for business registration of Airbnb operators nationwide,” he said.
The Star previously highlighted the calls for authorities to draw up rules for Airbnb to solve the problems plaguing the tourism industry, particularly those faced by licensed hotel operators.