MalaysiaAir Asia boss calls for urgent action to boost tourism prospects.

Less tax, more planning, Fernandes urges

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Malaysia has proposed a departure tax, effective end of September. Photo Credit: Beboy_ltd/GettyImages
Air Asia Group chief Tony Fernandes has called on the Malaysian government to focus on an integrated tourism plan ahead of new taxes.

“Malaysia desperately needs an integrated tourism plan. No exit tax, lower visa fees or no visa fees. And an airport that understands low-cost airlines,” he tweeted.

Fernandes said the country’s bed tax, increased airport passenger services charges at KLIA2 and a proposed departure tax, due to be implemented in September, were weighing heavily on the tourism industry.

Hotels, he said, were losing money because there were not enough tourists to fill rooms.

“We should grow tourism. We have amazing tourism products. Invest and grow; get more jobs and GDP,” Fernandes urged.

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