Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said the shopping component of tourism had registered RM15.11bil, or a 28.3% share of tourism revenue.
She added Malaysia was aiming to hit 35% by 2020.
“Duty free or tax exemption on a wider range of goods is vital to positioning Malaysia as a duty-free shopping destination that will be at par with the popular neighbouring countries,” she said.
Dr Ng was speaking at the launch of the Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival, which will run for eight weeks from July 24 to Sept 16.
“Currently, not all goods are duty free. For example, a leather handbag. If entirely leather, the handbag may be duty free. But if it has a metal buckle, some additional thing at the back, then it is in a different category,” she said.
“If we want to be a major shopping player in the world, we should simplify this. All handbags should be made (duty free), regardless of what buckles they have.” As shopping is one of the major thrusts in tourism, Dr Ng said it was important to keep the price of goods competitive.
Besides shopping, 31% of tourism revenue went to accommodation and another 17% to food, she said.
She said her ministry aimed to attract 36 million tourists by 2020, with an estimate revenue of RM168bil. The target this year is 24 million tourist arrivals and RM55bil in tourism receipts.
On a related matter, Dr Ng said a star-rating system on tourism products, including eco-tourism attractions, would be implemented. The products would be judged according to quality, infrastructure and management.
View 2010 Malaysia Mega Sale
Source : STAR
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