Budget 2022 wishlist: Hotel operators propose extension of SST exemption until Dec 2022

KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 19): The Malaysia Budget and Business Hotel Association (MyBHA) has proposed that the government extend the sales and service tax (SST) exemption period until December next year, in the Budget 2022 scheduled to be tabled on Oct 29.

Its president Dr Sri Ganesh Michiel said the exemption should be given to tourist accommodation premises for all tax categories including accommodation, tour packages and retail, after their businesses were adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The government had previously extended the SST exemption for hotels until Dec 31 this year to support the tourism sector.

Apart from that, Sri Ganesh asked the government to increase the annual SST threshold value for the hotel industry from RM500,000 to RM1.5 million.

"The application for this exemption is to encourage foreign tourists to travel to Malaysia when they are allowed to travel later, in an effort to revive the country's tourism and hotel industry," he told Bernama.

Sri Ganesh also urged the government to enforce the law to monitor the e-commerce tourism platforms operated by outsiders to the detriment of existing local licensed travel agencies.

Meanwhile, group managing director of Sutra Travel and Tourism Management of Companies, Datuk Syed Razif Syed Yasin urged the government to provide an adequate allocation for the tourism industry to invest in the business digitalisation process to ensure the country's tourism products were easily accessible.

“Digital transformation is able to provide more interactive local tourism brochures because information on tourism products is easier to convey and digital marketing will be more effective,” he said.

He also suggested that the government extend the moratorium period for the tourism industry, while they revived their business after people started to travel again following the government's lifting of the interstate travel ban recently.

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