Tourism sector welcomes stimulus package

Tourism boost: The government will provide a discount on electricity bills to hotels, travel agencies, airlines, shopping malls, convention and exhibition centres. — Bernama

PETALING JAYA: While the tourism industry, which is hit hard by the Covid-19 outbreak, welcomes the government’s stimulus package, other sectors say they have been left out.

The Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) said industry players were happy the government heeded many of its proposals such as deferment of income tax, 15% electricity discount, and the suspension of the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) contribution as well as the 6% service tax for hotels.

MAH chief executive officer Yap Lip Seng said the relief was really needed for industry players to survive and recover.

“The proposal for personal income tax relief originated from us, an idea we submitted to the Finance Ministry for the past two years as part of the budget preparation process and its introduction here is timely and would benefit the rakyat directly.

“We also welcome the RM100 digital voucher for Malaysians that would fit well with all the current promotions that local tourism stakeholders are offering,” he said.

The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) said the stimulus package would help spur domestic especially the hotels as room occupancy had dropped to between 20% and 30%.

“It will also encourage domestic spending which will help strengthen the ringgit against foreign currencies,” MATTA deputy president Mohd Akil Md Yusof said yesterday.

Malaysia-Singapore Coffee Shop Proprietors General Association president Datuk Ho Su Mong said the stimulus package should have been more inclusive.

The measures did not provide much for the restaurant industry, he said.

He said the 15% discount on monthly electricity bill should be extended to all retail businesses including the restaurant industry.

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