WHILE appreciating the unity government’s allocation of RM350 mil to boost tourism promotion and activities, the Malaysia Budget & Business Hotel Association (MyBHA) has expressed concern over Budget 2024’s potential impact on the struggling hospitality industry.
“We regret that Budget 2024 cannot have a positive long-term effect on the recovery efforts of the hospitality industry but may even force an increase in sales prices if the sales & service tax (SST) is increased from 6% to 8% without raising the threshold value of the SST for the hospitality industry,” lamented MyBHA national president Dr Sri Ganesh Michiel.
“We are also disappointed that there is no efforts to raise the annual threshold value of SST for the hotel industry from RM500,000 to RM1.5 mil although budget hotel is an industry utilised by the B40 Group and that this issue has been voiced for a long time.”
Ganesh who is also the Malaysian Tourism Federation (MTF) secretary-general further emphasised the urgent need for specific legislation to regulate short-term residential accommodation (STRA) and various online travel agencies (OTA’s).
This is given that these unregulated entities have long exploited the rights and profits of hoteliers, leading to substantial tax revenue losses for the government. With Malaysia aiming to attract 26.1 million foreign tourists in 2026, the proper regulation of STRA and OTA’s is paramount to the nation’s tourism success.
Elsewhere, Dr Ganesh highlighted the importance of a robust budget to ensure the sustainability of the hospitality industry. He also noted that a strong economic foundation is crucial for the industry’s survival and growth.
MyBHA’s plea reflects the collective voice of Malaysia’s hospitality industry. – Oct 13, 2023
Main photo credit: Tatler Asia