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Monday 5 August 2019

Greedy Malaysians deal a blow to tourists

In what can only be described as a dumb move, Malaysia will impose a departure tax from September 1. 

The tax will be imposed to tourists despite protests from local airlines and trade group IATA. 

The cost will vary depending on class of service and destination, up to a fee of RM150 ($AUS 54).

There have been calls within Malaysia for the tax to be deferred tuntil after the end of the Visit Truly Asia Malaysia 2020 campaign, the country's travel agency trade group says.

It sends the wrong message for a country aiming to attract more overseas visitors and should be postponed, the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) honorary secretary general Nigel Wong said.

"In general, Matta feels that the tax should be deferred until after the Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign at least," he said. 

Standby for more queues at KLIA (above) and other airports, and more inconvenience. 

The Malaysian Government passed a ministerial order for the levy, which will be collected on departure from the country from all eligible travellers.

Exemptions are made for flight crew, transit passengers that do not exceed 12 hours, and children under two years old.

The departure levy starts at RM8 for economy fliers travelling within the ASEAN bloc and RM50 for business or premium classes.

The ASEAN bloc consists of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The new departure levy order calls for fines of up to RM1 million for passengers or third parties who wilfully try to avoid paying the fee.

Airline group IATA says the fee will cause a reduction of about 835,000 international travellers a year, costing airlines about $US419 million.

This will ultimately lead to more than 5,000 job losses, IATA says.

1 comment:

  1. I'd like to see how IATA calculates 835,000 less travellers a year.