Penang to go ahead with plan to impose levy on hotel rooms
The Penang state government said it was going ahead with its plan to impose a levy on hotel rooms in the state, saying the move was necessary generate funds to make the island a tourism magnet. “We need to improve our tourism infrastructure. The state will be collecting RM2 and RM3 levy per night for all hotel rooms starting from June 1 to generate funds for this purpose,” said Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng (pic), who gave the example of Bali in Indonesia as a successful international tourist destination.
The RM2 levy is imposed on one- to three-star hotels, while the RM3 levy is charged on rooms in hotels rated four stars and above. Although there were some objections from industry players, Lim said after discussions, the state decided to go ahead with the levy. “The levy collected will go into a fund to improve infrastructure and to promote more tourism and cultural activities in the state, to further strengthen Penang as a preferred international tourist destination,” he said today, after attending the swearing-in ceremony of new municipal councillors in the state.
Penang’s capital city George Town has been recently named a top 10 holiday hotspot by Britain’s The Guardian, the only city in Southeast Asia to make it to the list compiled by the paper’s writers. George Town, a Unesco World Heritage City, is described as “one of the hottest Southeast Asian destinations” where delicious street food, fine dining, funky hostels, and boutique hotels are available.
Lim said while the recognition is timely as it is Visit Malaysia Year this year, it is still not time for the state to celebrate. He said the island’s tourism potential should be developed further to bring it on the same league as Bali.
Topping the list by The Guardian are Cape Town in South Africa, Uzes (France) and Austin in Texas, United States. They are followed by
Carmarthenshire (United Kingdom), Kolkata (India), Sao Tome and Principe in Africa, Alacati (Turkey) and George Town at the eighth spot. Coming in ninth and tenth are Alberta, Canada and Bordeaux, France respectively. The others placed between the 11th and 40th spots are Iran, Belgium, Brazil, Macedonia, Cuba, Iceland, Mongolia, Taiwan and Bangladesh. – Source from Malaysia Today.