KUALA LUMPUR: The tourism tax is not something new but has already been introduced in other countries such as Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore.
Tourism and Culture Minister Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said the government will use proceeds from the tourism tax – which comes into force on July 1 – to promote Malaysia overseas and refurbish tourism facilities.
He said the ministry needed to find new sources of income to finance its activities after the government reduced its allocation following the decline in world oil prices.
“The provision for tourism has been reduced.
“However, this does not mean tourism is not a priority of the government.
“There are more important priorities such as rural development, education, health and defence.”
He spoke to reporters during the “Jom Iftar @ KL” programme at Dataran Merdeka here today.
The Tourism Tax Bill 2017 was passed at the last Parliament sitting with a majority vote.
Among others, it allows imposing tax rates of between RM2.50 and RM20 for overnight stays at registered hotels and inns.
When winding up debate on the bill, Nazri said the tax would be able to bring in an income of about RM654.62 million if there was a 60% occupancy rate at more than 11 million hotel rooms in the country.