PUTRAJAYA, Dec 21 — All tourism premises operators have been exempted from the tourist accommodation premises registration fee of RM70 from Jan 1 until March 31, 2019, said Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi.
At present, he said, about 1,700 premise operators, which include hotels, resorts, lodging houses, hostels and homestays owners had still not registered their businesses.
“I urge all operators who have not yet registered to grab this opportunity and register their premises before applying for a business licence with the local authorities,” he told reporters after launching an engagement session with industry players here today.
The session involved more than 300 players in the tourism and arts industry who will discuss a review of the National Tourism Policy and the National Culture Policy to determine the direction of the Malaysian tourism industry up till 2030.
Mohammadin said the review of the National Tourism Policy was in the final stages.
“The ministry will also review the National Culture Policy which was formulated based on the resolutions of a congress in 1971. After more than 47 years, the ministry feels the time is right to review and revamp the policies on arts and culture,” he said.
Mohammadin said the ministry was still in the process of getting input and feedback from various parties to revamp the National Culture Policy which will be launched in the third quarter of next year.
He added that the ministry was targeting 28.1 million tourist arrivals in 2019 with revenue amounting to RM92.2 billion.
“The main focus next year is to develop the eco-and-culture tourism sector, and we hope there will be support and cooperation to develop Malaysia as a world-class tourism and culture destination,” he said.
Mohammadin added that for Visit Malaysia Year 2020, the ministry was targeting 30 million tourist arrivals generating RM100 billion in revenue.
He said to achieve the objective, the government will provide a matching grant of RM100 million to the private sector for an international tourism promotion and marketing programme to increase tourist arrivals.
He also said as part of the effort to assist and boost business for handicraft and homestay operators, a RM500-million tourism fund will be provided by the SME Bank.
The government will also nominate more locations to be recognised as Unesco World Heritage Sites and for Malaysia to be given priority for promotions at the ITB Berlin in international tourism exhibition in Germany next year. — Bernama