17 July 2019
AirAsia Group Bhd boss Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said Malaysia “desperately” needs an integrated tourism plan, not more taxes.
In a slew of Twitter posts, he said the tourism industry is a low hanging fruit for jobs in the country.
“Taxing it will not help. Hotel industry is struggling to make money. It has a hotel tax on top of so many service fees,” he stressed.
The outspoken group CEO and co-founder of the low cost airline said the tourism industry is Malaysia’s third biggest foreign exchange earner and second largest contributor to the nation’s gross domestic product.
“Malaysia desperately needs an integrated tourism plan. No exit tax, lower visa fees or no visa fees and online, an airport that understands low cost airlines,” he tweeted.
In February last year, Malaysia Airports (Sepang) Sdn Bhd has increased the passenger service charged on non-Asean international passengers departing from KLIA2 to RM73 from RM50, to be equal with the rate at KLIA.
However, AirAsia contended that passengers using KLIA2 should not be charged the same rates as passengers in KLIA as klia2 is a low-cost terminal with far lower levels of service provided to passengers, compared to KLIA, which is a full-service terminal.