Melaka hoteliers oppose to heritage tax hike, says MAH

MELAKA: Hoteliers here are up in arms over the steep increase in heritage tax imposed by the state government.

Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) Melaka chapter chairman Khairulnizam Kasim said the industry is gearing up to oppose the hike, which would lead to hardships in doing business.

"We have been given less than two weeks to implement the new charges, and the move is not tourism industry-friendly. The state government did not even invite us for a discussion before deciding to increase the charges to 50% of the current rate," he said on Saturday (June 22).

Khairulnizam said hotels in Melaka were already burdened with reduced occupancy rates and worries the move would further hurt guest check-in rates.

"Why punish us in this manner? We are part of the larger local tourism industry, which is already one of the largest contributors to the state exchequer," he said.

Khairulnizam added that many hotels would not be able to survive continuous increases, such as the recent hike in diesel prices and the high cost of raw materials for kitchen operations.

"We are also paying various other taxes," he added.

The tax was first imposed in 2017, requiring hotel operators to declare the number of rented rooms and make payments to the local authorities every two months.

Khairulnizam said hotels will ensure punctuality in the bi-monthly payments to avoid the issuance of notices by the local authorities.

"Any defaults in payment would result in our hotel star ratings being affected," he said.

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