Airbnb says in discussions with authorities to collect tourism tax

Airbnb’s top five inbound market for overseas guest arrivals to Malaysia are from Singapore, China, the United States, Indonesia, as well as Australia. — AFP pic
Airbnb’s top five inbound market for overseas guest arrivals to Malaysia are from Singapore, China, the United States, Indonesia, as well as Australia. — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 26 ― Airbnb, an online marketplace for hospitality service, is in discussions with the relevant authorities and ministries to implement the voluntary collection agreement (VCA) to collect tourism tax.

Airbnb Southeast Asia Head of Public Policy Mich Goh said Airbnb had conducted similar VCAs in other countries and hoped it could do the same in Malaysia.

“VCA is a tool designed by Airbnb to collect taxes from its host and guest community and remit it on their behalf. This will help to facilitate a streamlined process and lighten the administrative burden for locals and government, as well as our hosts,” she said in a press conference today.

The tourism tax was implemented last September and charges a rate of RM10 per room per night for foreigners who stay at hotels.

“The mechanism will be the same as hotels if it is implemented on Airbnb properties,” she said.

On the regulation part, Goh said Airbnb had signed a memorandum of collaboration (MoC) with Malaysian Productivity Council (MPC) to discuss on short-term accommodation and signed a memorandum of understanding with the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation to promote digital inclusion in tourism.

“As part of the MoC with MPC, Airbnb will share relevant data and best practices to inform recommendations on short-term accommodation policies in Malaysia.

“Through this collaboration, Airbnb will assist MPC in shaping national policy plans related to the development of tourism industry and infrastructure, as well as local communities,” she said. 

As of July 2018, Airbnb had recorded two million guests in the past 12 months, marking a 99 per cent year-on-year growth.

Airbnb’s top five inbound market for overseas guest arrivals to Malaysia are from Singapore, China, the United States, Indonesia, as well as Australia.

“Airbnb community has contributed RM200.4 million to the local economy and on average, a host rents a space for 19 nights a year, earning about RM5,200,” said Goh. ― Bernama

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