KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian parliament passed a Tourism Tax Bill in a record session that lasted for almost 20 hours, ending on Thursday morning (Apr 6).
Parliament was adjourned after the Tourism Tax Bill 2017 that was tabled by Tourism and Culture Minister Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz was passed with a big majority.
When winding up the debate for the Bill, Mohamed Nazri said revenue from Tourism Tax would be in the region of RM654.62 million if the overall occupancy rate for the 11 million "room night" in the country can achieve 60 per cent.
The Bill will allow the government to impose tourism tax levied on a tourist staying at any accommodation premise made available by an operator at the rate fixed by the minister in accordance with the law.
With the passing of the Bill, it shall be the duty of a tourist to pay the tourism tax to the operator of the accommodation premises.
"With proper promotion and 80 per cent occupancy rate, RM872.82 million can be collected," said Mohamed Nazri, adding that the tax collected can provide a sustainable fund every year to develop the tourism industry and ensure tourism becomes even more competitive.
He said the Tourism Tax would be collected from all types of premises used as accommodation for tourists, except homestay and Kampung Stay registered under the ministry, premises managed by institutions (education), premises used for training purposes and religious institutions where such facilities are not used for commercial purposes.
The parliament session on the Bill surpassed the old record time of 4.25am when it ended at 5.05am on Thursday. It is set to resume at 10am on Thursday.