The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) is looking forward to the tabling of Budget 2019 by the Minister of Finance, YB Tuan Lim Guan Eng on 2 November 2018.
MATTA has again submitted proposals as in previous years and is hoping that some of the incentives and funding needed to spur the travel industry forward would be granted.
MATTA President Datuk Tan Kok Liang said, “We understand from the various recent press releases from the Treasury, the government’s ability to roll out new tax incentives is limited.”
“Accordingly, we propose the government consider focusing on incentives that do not incur any incremental costs to the government, such as: Accelerated Capital Allowances (ACA) for tourism vehicles, website development/upgrades and Information Communication Technology (ICT) / automation tools. These incentives merely concentrate the tax savings to one year instead of being spread over 4-5 years; thus, do not impact overall tax collections.”
Proposals for consideration in future
1. Tour vehicles
“We have sought tax incentives (including Accelerated Capital Allowance) to encourage modernisation of tourism vehicles for attracting more high-spending tourists with safe and comfortable tour vehicles. This includes reducing import duty for luxury tour vehicles, excise duty exemption be extended to all classes of tourism vehicles and lower insurance premiums for tour vehicles.”
2. Matching grants
“In order for travel agencies to compete effectively, dedicated incentives such as scope of matching grants to the tourism sector and relaxing the qualifying conditions on the tax deduction for cost of developing and improving websites are needed for effective advertising and promotions in the tourism business.”
3. Homeport / cruise development
“Amongst our wish list for the tourism industry are incentives to develop Malaysian ports such as in Penang to become a ‘home port’ for cruise ships in the region for travel agencies selling cruise packages. Such tax and other fiscal incentives will lure cruise ships to homeport in Malaysia instead of neighbouring countries.”
4. Duty-free shopping zones
“To further enhance Malaysia’s position as a premier holiday and shopping destination, we are also proposing destinations such as Sabah and Sarawak to be designated with duty free zones as tax free shopping is indeed a lucrative component of Malaysia’s tourism industry. The availability of duty free outlets will encourage more tourist arrivals, thus uplifting the domestic socio-economic activities and growth of tourism industry.”