KUALA LUMPUR, 22 May 2018: The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) calls for the abolishment of Tourism Tax (TTx), which came into effect on 1 September 2017 charging a flat rate of RM10 per room night on foreigners staying in hotels or registered private accommodation.
MATTA President, Datuk Tan Kok Liang said, “We welcome tourists to have an enjoyable holiday experience and spend freely on accommodation, food and beverage, tourist attraction and tour excursion, but collecting tax from tourists would be counterproductive.”
“The TTx which was initially planned for roll out on 1 August 2017 included Malaysians initially but was later excluded after a public uproar, as it was decided without proper engagement with tourism industry players.”
“MATTA has objected and expressed concerns to the Ministry of Tourism and Culture on the TTx from day one, as it would have impacted on the tourism industry, particularly price sensitive tourists as well as long-haul travellers who spend longer durations in the country.”
Tan added, “Malaysia’s tourism sector is trailing behind neighbouring countries Thailand, Singapore and Philippines. The tourist arrivals for Asean countries have recorded positive growth in 2017, with 7.8% increase for Thailand, 6.2% for Singapore and 11% for Philippines. Whereas visitor arrivals to Malaysia dropped by 3% with 25.95 million tourists in 2017, compared to 26.76 million in 2016.”
“Putting up more barriers may deter tourists from choosing Malaysia as a preferred holiday destination. Without the TTx, foreigners would be delighted to come to our country, stay longer and spend more freely.”
“Furthermore, the amount of TTx that could be collected will only be a fraction of what the government could gain from other forms of taxes, which are less obvious compared to in-your-face TTx.”
“We urge the Ministry of Finance to review the current TTx rate and abolish it, as both hotel and tour operators have been affected by its introduction.”
“MATTA is ready to contribute to the discussions with the relevant Ministries in reviewing and abolishing the TTx,” concluded Tan.
DATUK TAN KOK LIANG
Term 2017 - 2019