MAH: Tourism Tax Should Be Abolished

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jun 11 – The Malaysian Association of Hotels today reiterated their call for the tourism tax to be abolished as it is counterproductive to the tourism industry.

Presenting the suggestion to the Council of Eminent Persons, its president, Cheah Swee Hee said the tax which became effective Sept 1 last year, among others, discouraged long stay in the country.

“The moment we have a flat rate we are not actually encouraging long stay because we are charging based on every night they stay,” he told reporters after attending a briefing session with the CEP.

Under the tourism tax, foreign hotel guests have to pay a flat fee of RM10 per room per night, regardless of the hotel’s star rating. Cheah also called on the federal government to create a new regulation on unlicensed hotels such as those promoted via Airbnb to make a fair playground for everyone.

Meanwhile Tourism Malaysia director-general Datuk Seri Mirza Mohammad Taiyab who also attended the briefing session today said, among others, he had outlined the Tourism Malaysia’s plans, expectations and hopes for the future of tourism in Malaysia to CEP.

Asked by reporters on the inquiry by the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission last Wednesday, Mirza said the MACC had collected some documents from the Tourism Malaysia office in Putrajaya during that visit. However, he said Tourism Malaysia was not in a position to answer on the update of the investigation. — Bernama

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