KUALA LUMPUR: The government will use proceeds from the Tourism Tax - which comes into force on Jul 1 - to promote Malaysia overseas and refurbish tourism facilities, said Tourism and Culture Minister Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz on Saturday (Jun 10).
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.
"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 the ''Jom Iftar @ KL'' programme at Dataran Merdeka.
He stressed that the tourism tax was not something new as it had already been introduced in other countries.
The Tourism Tax Bill 2017 which was passed in the last Parliament sitting with a majority vote, among others, allows imposing tax rates of between RM2.50 (US$0.59) and RM20 for overnight stays at registered hotels and inns.