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‘Check If Tourism Tax Has Any Effect On Tourist Arrival’

KUCHING: The Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture should conduct a thorough study on the tourism tax to see if it does have any affect on Malaysia’s tourism industry.

Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said if indeed the tourism tax did have affect on the tourism industry in the country, it should be reviewed.

It’s better to conduct a thorough study on whether the tourism tax on foreigners is affecting the industry or otherwise. If it does, then it’s good for it to be reviewed. But if it’s not, then it’s better not to review it as it’s good income for the government coffer and for upgrading tourism facilities, he said when contacted yesterday.

Abdul Karim was commenting on Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi’s recent statement which said the flat rate of RM10 per room, per night charged on foreign tourists had to be reviewed to determine whether the tourism tax was pegged at a reasonable rate or not.

The minister had told a press conference on Tuesday that the review would ensure that the government was able to find a way acceptable to foreign tourists, thus making it easier for them to visit.

Abdul Karim said the current tourism tax rate for foreign tourists was reasonable and ‘not too high’.

As long as the locals are not burdened by the tax, I’m happy. That’s the reason why I objected to the tourism tax when it was first introduced, he said.

He also doesn’t see the flat rate of RM10 per room, per night would affect tourist arrivals since the tax came into effect on Sept 1 last year.

That amount is peanuts to tourists. The room tax that we pay in foreign countries is more than RM10.

Tourism tax is charged on foreign tourists staying in hotels or at registered private accommodations.

Source: SARAWAK GOVERNMENT

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