Departure tax will not affect Tourism Industry, says minister
KUALA LUMPUR: The departure levy, which comes into force on June 1, is unlikely to affect the tourism industry.
Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi said almost every other nation worldwide
has a similar levy, or tourism tax for tourists, and yet the industry remains unaffected.
“I don’t think this will affect the tourists in and out of the country because almost everywhere this kind of levy is implemented.
“Some countries are collecting it as tax and some countries are putting up in the form of tickets,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby, here, today.
Mohamaddin said the departure levy was only for those who were departing the country via flights or cruise ships.
“For cruise ships, if they are taking tourists and they are leaving the port, yes they will be charged as well,” he said.
On chartered vehicles leaving the country, Mohamaddin said there would be no departure charge although Clause 9(1)(a) in the Bill mentions that anyone leaving Malaysia “by any operator” shall be subjected to the departure levy.
He said the departure levy would be beneficial for Malaysia.
“The money collected will be used for the development of the country and the people.
“If we want to have more tourists, and not charge them anything just to make sure they visit Malaysia, then we will be at a loss,” he added.
The levy will be imposed once the Departure Levy Bill 2019 is given the green light by the Dewan Rakyat.
The bill was tabled at the Lower House of Parliament on Monday by the Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah for its first reading.
During the tabling of Budget 2019 last year, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the government would propose a departure levy for all outbound travellers beginning June 1.
The rate is applied to every international departure from Malaysia at a rate of RM20 to Asean countries and RM40 to other international destinations.
(Source : NST, 9 Apr 2019)