Idris Haron: Tourism tax will not affect tourist arrivals in Malacca

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The introduction of tourism tax, scheduled to be implemented next month, will not adversely affect the arrival of domestic and international tourists in Malacca, said Chief Minister Idris Haron.

He said the move in introducing the tax by the Tourism and Culture Ministry was an initiative to find new source of income which would indirectly improve the quality of tourism products and services in the country.

Implementation of the tax, he said, would also help in efforts to generate income for the country's tourism sector.

"There is no need to worry with the tourism tax because it will not affect the arrival of tourists to Malacca. Instead, they (tourists) will be assured of better tourism facilities," he told reporters in Malacca today.

Earlier, Idris opened the state government's monthly assembly organised by TM at Seri Negeri, Ayer Keroh. Also present was Malacca TM general manager Rozlan Mohamed.

The parliament, in its last sitting, passed the Tourism Tax Bill which will allow the government to impose tourism tax of between RM2.50 and RM20 on a tourist staying at any accommodation premises used as accommodation for tourists, except homestay and Kampung Stay registered under the ministry, premises managed by institutions (education), premises used for training purposes and religious institutions where such facilities are not used for commercial purposes.

On complaints raised by some quarters over the introduction of the tourism tax, Idris said a similar situation arose when Malacca imposed the heritage tax.

"However, after a while, they accept it because they can question if heritage products are not well-maintained," he added.

Malacca imposed heritage tax of five percent on hotel operators on September 2011 and then abolished it by introducing heritage charge of RM2 per room per night on January 2012.

In another development, Idris urged the tourism and culture ministry to consider developing as tourism products, several old government building at Jonker Walk.


-- Bernama

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