KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 29 — Service providers of accommodation bookings using the digital platform are required to register with the Malaysian Tourism Tax System (MyTTx) under the Royal Malaysian Customs Department, the latest three months before July next year to ensure the implementation of the taxation system, the Dewan Negara was told today.

Deputy Finance Minister II Mohd Shahar Abdullah said the implementation of the service provider tax is expected to increase the government’s revenue from tourism tax by between RM21 million and RM46 million.

“Any business premises or service providers using the digital platform who defy this are liable to be fined up to RM30,000 or jailed not less than one year or both,” he said when winding up the debate on the Tourism (Amendment) Bill  2020.

Mohd Shahar also dismissed allegations that the tourism tax imposed on all foreign tourists entering the country had a negative effect on the local tourism sector.

“The tax imposed on foreign tourists is RM10, and given the value of their currencies it is a small price to pay for touring this country.

“Based on data from the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC), foreign tourist arrivals in Malaysia have increased except for this year, which saw a decline due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” he added.

Mohd Shahar said tourism tax collection had been encouraging since it was introduced in September 2017, with RM39.9 million in 2017, RM216.6 million (2018), RM219.7 million (2019) and RM68.1 million (2020).