Wednesday, 14 June 2017

(The Star) Idris: Tourist arrivals will not be affected

MELAKA: The historical city will not be badly affected by the introduction of tourism tax, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron.

He said the move in introducing the tax by the Tourism and Culture Ministry effective from July 1 was in line to generate income for the government and which would indirectly improve the quality of tourism products and services in the country.

“The state is not worried about the tourism tax because it will not affect tourist arrivals to Melaka.

“Instead, we will try to provide better facilities and services for tourists with more funds available,” he said after opening the state government’s monthly assembly organised by Telekom Malaysia at Seri Negeri in Ayer Keroh.

The Tourism Tax Bill will allow the government to impose tourism tax of between RM2.50 and RM20 on a tourist staying in hotels, except at homestays registered under the ministry, premises managed by education and religious institutions.

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

“However, after a while, they accepted it because they can question if heritage products are not well maintained,” he added.

Melaka imposed a heritage tax of five per cent on hotel operators in September 2011 and then abolished it to introduce a heritage charge of RM2 per room per night in January 2012.