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Monday, June 26, 2017

Tourism tax looks unlikely to be enforced in Sabah from July 1

Sabah minister says hotels have not registered yet and other logistical preparations are still incomplete.
Masidi-Manjun_sabah_pelancong_new_600
PETALING JAYA: The tourism tax looks unlikely to be implemented just yet, at least in Sabah.
Asked if the tax would be implemented on July 1, as announced earlier, Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Masidi Manjun said hotels had not registered for the tax yet.
“So how is the government going to collect these taxes?” Masidi said, according to The Star Online today.
He also said other logistical preparations were still incomplete.
Masidi said that “only the Customs Department can tell us whether there is going to be a delay in the collection of the tax”.
Tourism and Culture Minister Nazri Aziz had announced the July 1 date earlier.
He had however told FMT that the ministry would be flexible on the date.
“If hotel operators cannot make it on July 1, we will defer it to August instead. It depends.”
Nazri told FMT the mechanism will be based on the ratings of the hotel.
“Hotel operators can multiply the tax (based on their ratings) with the number of rooms they manage to let out for the night.”
He said the ministry will only collect the earnings on the tax once every three months.
The tax is RM2.50 for non-rated hotels. RM5 for two-star, RM10 for three-star, RM15 for four-star and RM20 for five-star.
Masidi said Sabah and Sarawak were to hold their first meeting about the tourism tax sometime after July 4. The division of the tax will be discussed then, he added.
In KUCHING, Chief Minister Abang Johari Tun Openg said he was not informed of 3,000 tourists from China having cancelled their trips to Malaysia following the implementation of the tourism tax from July 1, Borneo Post reported.
He said it would be unfair for him to offer comments without full details.
He was asked to comment on a news report which quoted Gracie Geikie as saying that 3,000 tourists from China had cancelled their trips to Malaysia because they would be expected to pay tourism tax estimated at about RM100,000.
Gracie, who is Malaysian Association of Convention Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (Maceos) acting vice-president for conventions and professional conference management, told reporters in Miri about the cancellation.
According to her, a friend who is running a travel agency told her about the cancellation.
The tax is expected to bring in an annual income of about RM654.62 million if there is a 60% occupancy rate at the more than 11 million hotel rooms in the country. It is to be used to boost tourist facilities. -FMT

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