Malaysia’s zero GST spurs domestic travel this Hari Raya season

Melaka (pictured), Langkawi and Taman Negara popular domestic choices this Hari Raya Aidilfitri

The current tax holiday that Malaysians are enjoying is spurring domestic travel, with inbound agents and hoteliers seeing an uptick in domestic tour package and room bookings for the coming Hari Raya Aidilfitri (June 14-15) holiday.

Demand for travel is partly spurred by cheaper costs of holidaying since the zero-rated goods and services tax (GST), down from six per cent previously, began on June 1 while the sales and services tax has yet to kick in.


Melaka (pictured), Langkawi and Taman Negara popular domestic choices this Hari Raya Aidilfitri

Kingston Khoo, director of sales and marketing at Mutiara Taman Negara, said: “We’re seeing a slight pick up on domestic bookings for Hari Raya. Bookings are mainly for FITs and young families. We see more eco-adventure packages being purchased by millennials such as via ferrata adventure near Taman Negara and trekking to the waterfalls.”

Similarly, Eric R Sinnaya, managing director of Langkawi-based Morahols Travel, has recorded a 10 per cent increase in forward bookings from the domestic market. Clients are mainly from the northern region, Kuala Lumpur and the east coast.

S Jayakumar, director, Dayangti Transport & Tours, anticipates a 20 per cent boost in domestic travel. He shared that apartment stays are popular especially with extended families of five to seven people travelling together. Melaka, Johor and Langkawi are among the destinations favoured by his clients.

Iskandar Zulkarnain, director of sales and marketing at The Andaman, A Luxury Collection Resort, Langkawi, is also optimistic about seeing an increase in domestic family stays. The resort has an ongoing local resident package up to December 22 for the Malaysian and Singapore markets, providing a daily F&B credit of RM100 (US$25).

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