KUALA LUMPUR – The government will increase the amount of tourism tax returned to state governments from RM1 to RM5 for every RM10 of tax collected, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.
Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said the repayment of the tax would be made fairly based the percentage of tourism tax collected in each state.
“Every state can use the allocation to develop its own tourism sector especially for the promotion and marketing of destinations, organising tourism events, human resource development, and small-scale tourism projects,” he said when replying to a question by Loke Siew Fook (DAP- Seremban) who wanted to know the collection of tourism tax since it was implemented on Sept 1.
Mohamad Nazri said the payment would be made every three months directly to the state governments.
He said the government collected RM39,975,634 in tourism tax from Sept t to Dec 31.
“Kuala Lumpur recorded the highest collection at RM16,625,258, followed by Sabah RM4,530,628; Penang RM3,881,655; Pahang RM3,473,803 and Johor collected RM2,716,739,” he said.
Replying to a supplementary question by Dr Mansor Abdul Rahman (BN-SIK) who wanted to know if the tourism tax collection had affected tourist arrivals to the country, Mohamed Nazri said imposition of the tax did not affect the number of tourists, in fact tourists welcomed the tax collection. – BERNAMA