Proceeds from Malaysia's tourism tax to be used for promotion, refurbishment: Tourism Minister

KUALA LUMPUR - The Malaysian government will use proceeds from the Tourism Tax - which comes into force on July 1 - to promote Malaysia overseas and refurbish tourism facilities, Tourism and Culture Minister Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said on Sunday (June 11).

He said the ministry needed to find new sources of income to finance its activities after the government reduced its allocation following the decline of world oil prices, reported Bernama news agency.

"The provision for tourism has been reduced, however, this does not mean tourism is not a priority of the government, but there are more important priorities such as rural development, education, health and defence," he told reporters during a programme at Dataran Merdeka.

He stressed that the tourism tax was not something new as it had already been introduced in other countries such as Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore.

The Tourism Tax Bill 2017 was passed in the last Parliament sitting with a majority vote. It allows imposing tax rates of between RM2.50 (81 Singapore cents) and RM20 for overnight stays at registered hotels and inns.