Govt urged to reconsider 25% entertainment tax for theme park tickets

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 10 Mar 2020

A file picture of visitors enjoying a ride at a local theme park. - AZHAR MAHFOF/The Star

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): To draw more local and foreign visitors, theme park operators want the new government to do away with the 25% entertainment tax imposed on visitor tickets.

Malaysian Association of Amusement Theme Park and Family Attractions (Maafta) president Tan Sri Richard CK Koh said they would send in a proposal soon to the government to abolish the tax which is under the Entertainments Duty Act 1953.

He argued that the tax was originally introduced in theme parks that had entertainment zones such as gambling, sports betting, and night clubs, where people paid a lot of money.

"Nowadays, theme parks have become family-oriented zones, where children and families gather. There are no more gambling areas and boxing arenas like years ago.

"But we still impose the tax in the entrance fee which is 25% extra from the ticket price, which makes theme park tickets very expensive," he said during a press conference to promote Cuti -Cuti Malaysia at the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) headquarters here on Tuesday (March 10).

On the effects of the Covid-19 scare on theme parks, Koh said from January to February, theme parks in Malaysia have lost almost 50% of their visitors with the loss amounting to RM40mil in terms of revenue.

He said media reports about this virus and fake news have instilled fear in the public and hence many remained indoors.

"We have informed all our 52 members (theme park operators) around the country on the appropriate precautions including to thoroughly sanitise their parks and attractions, and set up hand sanitiser stations in all 82 parks in the country," he said.

However, according to Koh, since the beginning of March, theme park visitor figures around the country have shown some improvement.

"I think people are getting bored of staying indoors and want to spend time outside, after May this year hopefully everything would turn out to be okay," he concluded.

Meanwhile, in partnership with Tourism Malaysia, MATTA is organising the Cuti-Cuti Malaysia by MATTA Fair on April 4 and 5 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC), which is the first exclusive fair, promoting and selling domestic destination hotels and attractions.

MATTA is also collaborating with Maafta to allow visitors to enjoy theme parks, which have attracted many tourists in the past, whereby these theme parks will be having big promotions at the fair. – Bernama

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