Budget 2023: Tourism operators urge govt to focus on industry sustainability, reduction of utility expenses

KUALA LUMPUR: Tourism industry players in the country want the government to focus on tourism sustainability, as well as reduction in operational and utility expenses in Budget 2023.

They said this was to ensure the tourism sector was able to resume operations properly in the transitory phase to endemicity, as it was one of the most negatively affected sectors due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Malaysia Budget Hotel Association (MyBHA) national president Dr Sri Ganesh Michiel hoped that the government would consider increasing the threshold value of the Services Tax under the Sales and Services Tax (SST) for the hotel industry from RM500,000 to RM1.5mil.

"This is because a budget hotel only earns an average of RM50 per room for a one-night stay and is not in line with current economic requirements.

"We are serving people mostly under the B40 category and as such, increasing the SST threshold value will facilitate us in setting a proper price rate to better serve people in that group,” he told Bernama.

Sri Ganesh also suggested that the government introduce a special electricity tariff for the tourism industry as well as financing and tax incentives.

The caretaker of Ipoh’s tin-mining museum Han Chin Pet Soo (HCPS), Leong Meng Fai, in sharing a similar view, hoped that the government would look into reducing utility expenses for museums and exhibition centres in the similar category.

"The reduction would be appreciated because it greatly relieves our task in maintaining the museum, which is not easy, mainly because HCPS operates in one of many century-old buildings in Ipoh.

"On top of that, we hope that the budget looks into the possibility of funding, even partially, for the refurbishment of such buildings, be it Ipoh or other states, to ensure the unique structures are kept in top condition and subsequently attract even more tourists,” he said.- Bernama

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