MICE travel to Langkawi unlikely to be dented by new tax

Overwater bungalows in Langkawi 

INBOUND agents are unfazed by the new tourism promotion fee which will be imposed on all tourists checking into hotels in Langkawi.

From July 1, domestic and international tourists will be charged an additional RM3 (US$0.73) per room per night in three- or four-star hotels and RM5 in a five-star property.

Arokia Das, senior manager at Luxury Tours Malaysia, said: “It will not affect MICE into Langkawi as we (agents) will either absorb the cost or include it into the quotation.”

Saini Vermeulen, executive director, Within Earth Holidays, likewise stated that the tax was an insignificant amount and “common practice” in destinations worldwide.

Agreeing, Adam Kamal, CEO of Olympik Holidays, said: “The amount is insignificant. Moreover, groups don’t stay long as Langkawi is usually a two- or three-night incentive destination.

“If the funds are properly channelled, it will make it easier to promote the destination.”

According to Mohd Rawi Abdul Hamid, Kedah state tourism committee chairman, “the collections would reduce Langkawi Municipal Council’s dependency on state funding to carry out projects such as beautification of the island and enhancements of public facilities and services”.

With around three million tourists to Langkawi annually, the new levy could translate to over RM5 million in tourism revenue (this year), he added.

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