Call To Impose Tourism Tax On Airbnb Operations

KOTA KINABALU: Tourism tax should also apply to Airbnb operations in the state.

“Sabah’s share of tourism tax for 2019 was RM12.9m,” said Malaysian Budget Hotel Association, Sabah Chapter (MyBHA Sabah) chairman James Ong.

“It could have been much more if there had been imposition of tourism tax on their operations.”

Therefore, he said, international tourists staying in these facilities should also pay tourism tax come July 1 next year.

Ong said this at the recent tourism industry engagement session chaired by Deputy Chief Minister cum Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, Datuk Christina Liew.

At the dialogue budget hotel operators again called for a regulatory framework to govern Airbnb operations instead of banning them altogether.

Such accommodation, also known as short-term rental accommodation premises, should be regulated to ensure everything is in order.

“Operators should also be subjected to the usual requirements like
being properly licensed and insured, compliance with the Fire and
Rescue Department requirements and so on,” said Ong.

Sabah Hotel Association (SHA) deputy president, Felix Joikon had raised concerns over the mushrooming of Airbnb facilities in Sabah.

“Does Kota Kinabalu have regulations to monitor the growth of Airbnb operators in the State capital?

How can this phenomenon be controlled as it affects the licensed accommodation premises?” he queried.