Tourism Tax Expected Collection At RM20-30 Million This Year
The tourism tax for foreign tourists will take effect in September with expected collection up to RM30 million this year, said Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz.
He added that the Customs Department is also ready to begin collections as all mechanisms were now finalised.
“Annually, we expect to collect around RM200 million. Since we are starting at the end of the third quarter, we expect to generate around RM20 to RM30 million this year,” said the tourism and culture minister.
The revenue collected will be combined with the tourism and culture ministry to promote tourism and cultural activities nationwide.
As the tax is charged based on hotel rooms and other lettable rooms, this does not warrant Sarawak’s demand for 30% share of the revenue instead of 10%.
“The biggest contributor to this tax will be Penang, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Pahang because they have the most hotel rooms or lettable rooms for foreigners.
“If that’s how we want to structure it, these states should receive the most since Sabah and Sarawak only have around 16% of total hotel rooms in the country,” said Nazri.
The revenue will be split equally for each state, at 10% share, while the remaining balance will be used to further generate tourism and promotional activities.
On how the funds will be allocated specifically for the promotion of state’s tourism, Nazri said he will be meeting Sabah’s Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun to discuss.
The revenue will also be used to promote and showcase Malaysia’s diverse and rich cultural heritage by bringing more local cultural groups abroad.
“Tourism and culture cannot be apart. Nowadays we normally send dance and cultural troupes from Istana Budaya to showcase our culture overseas, but what about the other practitioners? What about the Orang Sungai, or Iban and Bidayuh who have their own rich culture? We can use this money to showcase them and attract more visitors to Malaysia,” he said.
The tourism and culture ministry will work on addressing the issue of unregistered hotelier.